Strasburg struggles in humid conditions, Nats come back to win

Right-hander Stephen Strasburg was unable to get off to a good start Friday. He struggled in the first inning, allowing four runs on five hits as the Reds raced out to a 4-0 lead.

The Nationals eventually came all the way back and stunned Cincinnati 6-5 in 10 innings.

Stephen-Strasburg-white-opening-day-sidebar.jpgAs Strasburg watched the comeback, he had a chance to reflect on the rough beginning.

"Tough one. Obviously first inning was not great but I can try to go as long as I can and as hard as I can and they picked me up," Strasburg said.

He struck out Billy Hamilton looking to begin the game. But Scooter Gennett then connected on a solo homer, his 10th of the season, and the Reds had the early 1-0 lead.

It got worse from there.

The Reds then put together a single from Joey Votto and a double by Adam Duvall. Of course, the Duvall double might have had a chance to be caught, as center fielder Wilmer Difo and right fielder Bryce Harper converged on the ball, but both came up short on making a catch in right-center field.

After a Eugenio Suárez walk, Scott Schebler's sacrifice fly to center field scored Votto to make it 2-0.

The Reds were not done.

Devin Mesoraco and José Peraza followed with back-to-back RBI singles to make it 4-0.

Manager Dusty Baker was asked what went wrong for Strasburg in that first-inning onslaught.

"I mean a little help (from the defense), but some of those were balls that fell in there and couldn't be caught," Baker said. "He struggled every pitch and every batter was a struggle, but that's how pitching and that's how life is sometimes. You got to keep struggling and find a way to keep your team in the game to come back like we did tonight."

In the past, the sticky and hot conditions have affected Strasburg, and he agreed that might have been a factor Friday night. The game time temperature was 87 degrees.

"I don't know. I lost about 10 pounds of water weight," Strasburg said. "Got to go back to the drawing board. I thought I was ready for it. It's something I'm just not used to, growing up on West Coast. I think I'll adjust eventually. But I'd hopefully like to adjust sooner rather than later."

It is of some concern that Strasburg has not been able to finish six innings in three consecutive starts. He also now has only 10 strikeouts in his last two starts.

Strasburg's ERA moved from 3.28 to 3.57 after the five innings Friday.

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