White Sox hit Strasburg early for big inning (Nats win 9-5)

Tuesday’s series opener against the Chicago White Sox did not start off well in the first frame for Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg.

The White Sox scored four runs by RBI singles from James McCann and Eloy Jiménez, and two-out, two-run single with the bases loaded by the No. 8 hitter Yolmer Sánchez.

Strasburg-Throw-Blue-Sidebar.jpgStrasburg finally got out of the inning, but the damage was done. As he walked off the mound, Strasburg let home plate umpire Mike Everitt know he did not appreciate some borderline calls that did not go his way.

Mid-first, the White Sox led the Nats 4-0.

In the second, Chicago added to their lead with a solo homer from Yoán Moncada. His 11th blast of the season came on an 0-2 pitch and went over the right-center field wall.

Mid-second, the White Sox led the Nats 5-0.

Strasburg started to get back on track after that, recording five outs in a row, three of them by strikeout.

Mid-third, the White Sox led the Nats 5-0.

The Nationals enjoyed a single by former White Sox outfielder Adam Eaton in the first inning, but former Nationals starter Reynaldo López remained unscathed until the third inning.

In the third, López walked Trea Turner and then balked him to second base. Eaton was then walked. Anthony Rendon drove a two-run double off the right-center field wall to get the Nats on the board, but did not appear to be running hard into second base.

After three innings, the White Sox led the Nats 5-2.

Howie Kendrick replaced Brian Dozier at second base to begin the fourth. Everitt left the game as well after getting hit by a pitch on his chest protector during the Turner at-bat in the third.

Update: Kendrick quickly answered the bell with a solo homer to center field in thre bottom of the fourth. His 10th homer of the season came on an 0-1 offering from López.

The Nats have trimmed the Chicago advantage to 5-3 in the fourth.

Update II: The Nats scored six runs in the fifth to chase López, highlighted by a three-run homer from Rendon to give them the lead, 6-5. It was his 11th homer of the season and fifth RBI of the season. Facing reliever Jake Osich, Matt Adams doubled. Kendrick then doubled to score Adams and it was 7-5. Victor Robles followed by unloading a two-run shot to center field for his ninth homer of the season. The six runs scored by the Nats in the inning were a season-high.

Strasburg lasted five innings, allowing five runs on five hits with three walks, one hit by pitch and six strikeouts. He threw 105 pitches, 67 for strikes.

After five innings, the Nats lead the White Sox 9-5.

Update III: Matt Grace and Tanner Rainey tossed scoreless innings in relief. Wander Suero pitched a a scoreless eighth inning. But in the ninth, Suero allowed two singles sandwiched around a strikeout of Welington Castillo. Sean Doolittle struck out Moncada for the second out. He then got José Abreu to fly out to second base to end the game.

Final score: the Nats 9, the White Sox 5.

The Nats have won eight of their last 10 games to improve to 27-33.

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