Strasburg powers past Marlins again in Nats' 7-0 win

The Marlins are hoping they don't have to see Stephen Strasburg again this season.

Strasburg has now won 12 games in a row against Miami after a convincing 7-0 shutout Saturday night. He allowed two hits in eight scoreless innings, striking out a season-high 14 batters.

Miami managed a pair of singles in their first three at-bats from Harold Ramirez and Starlin Castro. But Strasburg had a hand in an inning ending 1-6-3 double play to end that first frame.

Strasburg-Release-vs-MIA-Red-Sidebar.jpgThat turned out to be the Marlins' best chance to score all night because Strasburg had no-hitter stuff after the first frame.

"He was really good," said Nationals manager Davey Martinez. "Him and (Kurt) Suzuki both executed their plan really well tonight. He just pounded the strike zone. Got ahead of hitters and worked all his pitches and just really executed their plan really, really well."

The Nationals offense quickly gave Strasburg plenty of room to work. Anthony Rendon and Juan Soto hit back-to-back homers in the bottom of the first. Strasburg's RBI single in the second made it 3-0. Soto added a run-scoring double in the third and Suzuki put them away with a two-run shot to make it 6-0.

Rendon and Soto bat one after the other near the top of the Nationals' batting order. Like brothers competing in the back yard, they are creating havoc for opponents with matching skills.

The duo each hit their 30th homers of the season in the bottom of the first off of Marlins starter Pablo López, putting the Nats up 2-0.

The "30 for 30" homers mark the second time in Nats history a pair of hitters have each hit 30 homers in a season. In 2009, Adam Dunn (38) and Ryan Zimmerman (33) pulled off the feat.

Rendon hit his second homer of the game and 31st of the season in the eighth inning.

Strasburg (16-5) allowed two hits in the first inning, but settled in to cruise through seven innings afterward to record his career-high 16th win of the season. The Marlins had no hits from the second through the ninth frames. He struck out the side in the third and sixth innings. Strasburg now has struck out 10 or more batters 46 times in his career, six times this season.

"Fastball command was really good," Strasburg said. "I was able to throw my curveball for strike when I wanted to. Changeup was pretty good as well."

Early on, Strasburg fired 41 of his first 50 pitches for strikes.

"It's the name of the game," Strasburg said. "You go out there and make good pitches and the guys are able to put some runs up on the board. Just wanted to keep pounding away."

Strasburg reached 16 wins on the season, which is a new career-high. This is the fourth time he has been able to get to at least 15 victories. Three times in his career he had earned 15 wins: 2012, 2016 and 2017.

"It's tough because you don't know (what's coming)," said Martinez. "He can attack you in multiple ways - changeup, fastball, two-seam, four-seam, curveball, and throw them all for strikes. He threw a 3-2 curveball a couple of times for strikes. Just really good."

López lasted only three innings, allowing six runs on six hits, including three homers and two wild pitches.

The Nationals finish August on a big run, going 19-7, their best month by percentage this season, now 76-58 overall. Strasburg has 12 wins during the Nats' 57-27 roll. The Nationals have won 19 of their last 24 games.

"It's fun when you win," Strasburg said. "I think at the same time we've had a great group from day one and everybody's bought in and we are a team. We know it's going to take every single one of us, so we are here just pulling for each other and giving everything we have."

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