WASHINGTON — Having already beaten one of the Washington Nationals‘ star pitchers last week, Atlanta’s Mike Foltynewicz will try to top the other one Tuesday night.
Foltynewicz, who outpitched Max Scherzer in the Braves‘ 7-1 win last Wednesday in Atlanta, opposes Stephen Strasburg in the second game of a three-game series at Nationals Park.
The right-hander snapped his eight-game winless streak when he allowed four hits and one run in 5 1/3 innings against Washington (5-5) while striking out eight and walking two. He added a two-run double as Atlanta handed Washington its first loss of the season.
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Foltynewicz overcame two walks, two wild pitches and a hit batter.
“On a team like this, that’s so good it’s easy to get pumped up and spiral out of control (emotionally),” Foltynewicz told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I’ve learned over the past few years to kind of slow things down, just get where you’re comfortable and know your game out there.”
The win improved Foltynewicz’s record to 3-2 with a 5.06 ERA in seven starts against Washington.
Strasburg (1-1, 3.65) didn’t pitch against the Braves (6-4) in Atlanta but is looking to bounce back from a rough outing against New York in which he allowed four runs and five hits — including two home runs — in six innings of an 8-2 loss to the Mets.
He struck out six, walked two and balked in a run.
“I think it’s, for me, it’s trying to keep it close, try to keep the team in the game as long as I can,” Strasburg told MASN.com. “I was still able to do that, but at the same time, I know mistakes were made and I paid the price for it. Sometimes you get away with them. But this time I didn’t and that’s baseball.”
Strasburg is 10-9 with a 4.06 ERA in 27 games against the Braves.
Scherzer (2-1) bounced back from last week’s loss and dominated Atlanta on Monday night in the series opener, tossing a two-hit shutout as Washington won 2-0 to snap a five-game losing streak.
“Just tried to make a little mechanical tweak tonight,” Scherzer told The Washington Post. “But really the biggest thing was that on the first pitch, 0-0, I collected a lot of first-pitch outs. They were aggressive early in the count.”
Atlanta had beaten Scherzer in three of his last five starts against the Braves.
It was Scherzer’s ninth career complete game. He struck out 10 batters without a walk in outdueling Julio Teheran (0-2).
Scherzer added his first career stolen base for good measure.
Nationals catcher Pedro Severino doubled and has reached base safely in 12 of 21 plate appearances (six hits, four walks, twice hit by a pitch) since joining the team. Anthony Rendon doubled and scored on Howie Kendrick’s two-run double in the first inning. Rendon has seven hits in his last 14 at-bats.
Washington outfielder Bryce Harper walked three times to raise his OPS to 1.519.
Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman continues to struggle as an 0-for-4 night lowered his average to .097.
Teheran allowed two runs, five hits and four walks in six innings while striking out seven for Atlanta, which had won four of five. Last Tuesday, he surrendered five runs in 2 1/3 innings in a no-decision against Washington.
“I felt a lot better today,” Teheran told the Journal-Constitution. “All my pitches were on point. Other than the first inning, I think I made a couple of good pitches and just got unlucky on that one he hit pretty good and he found a spot to get that double.”
Atlanta’s Nick Markakis is 9-for-28 against Strasburg and Freddie Freeman is 15-for-40 with four homers and 13 RBIs.
Washington’s Brian Goodwin is 5-for-8 with two homers against Foltynewicz, Trea Turner is 5-for-12 and Harper is 3-for-11, each with a home run.