WASHINGTON (AP) — By the time Stephen Strasburg settled down and looked like his dominant self, it was too late and his undefeated season was over.
Strasburg struck out 10, but allowed six runs and seven hits including two home runs and the Washington Nationals lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers 6-3 on Thursday. It’s Strasburg’s first loss since Sept. 9, ending a streak of 16 consecutive winning decisions.
"During the streak he was outstanding," manager Dusty Baker said. "You know every streak is going to end. That’s the best streak I’ve ever seen I think. Now you just go back to the drawing board and start a new streak."
The All-Star right-hander allowed two- and three-run home runs to third baseman Justin Turner in the first and third innings and an RBI single to first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. After Turner’s home run, Strasburg retired 12 of his final 13 batters.
"It was just a couple of pitches where I just didn’t execute when I needed to, and I got beat on them," Strasburg said. "Once I got past those first couple innings I started throwing more first-pitch strikes."
Strasburg (13-1) had the longest winning streak to begin a season among National League starters since Rube Marquard of the New York Giants went 18-0 in 1912. The Dodgers hit the ball hard against him early, but he had that unstoppable stuff in his final three innings.
At the plate, Strasburg’s teammates couldn’t crack Dodgers left-hander Julio Urias, who allowed one run and five hits in four innings. Bryce Harper drove in Trea Turner with a sacrifice fly in the first, Danny Espinosa had an RBI double and Daniel Murphy an RBI single off the Los Angeles bullpen.
The Nationals left 12 runners on base in losing to the Dodgers for the fifth time in six games this season.
"We were fighting back," Baker said. "We were stealing bases. We were trying to get runners in scoring position, which we did. We left 12 men on bases. We had opportunities to get back into that game."
Dodgers: OF Yasiel Puig left the game with right hamstring tightness that occurred when he tried to leg out a grounder as a pinch-hitter in the seventh. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said he didn’t know the severity of the injury. … All-Star SS Corey Seager missed his third consecutive game because of a stomach virus. Roberts said Seager was feeling stronger, but didn’t want to play him a full game in 90-degree heat and humidity.
Nationals: 1B Ryan Zimmerman (left rib cage sprain) was set to start a rehab stint at Class A Potomac on Thursday night. Baker said he’d like Zimmerman to play three minor-league games and return Tuesday in Cleveland. … RHP Joe Ross (shoulder inflammation) threw a bullpen session prior to the game.
WERTH THE REST
Originally listed in the starting lineup, Jayson Werth was a late scratch when Baker said he woke up at 3:30 a.m. and changed it to give the outfielder a rest. Werth had a pinch-hit double in the eighth to extend his on-base streak to 25 games.
REVOLVING BULLPEN DOOR
Roberts used seven relievers to throw the final five innings: RHP Pedro Baez, LHP Luis Avilan, RHP Louis Coleman, LHP J.P. Howell, RHP Joe Blanton, LHP Adam Liberatore (2-0) and finally RHP Kenley Jansen, who earned his 28th save. The only one left was LHP Grant Dayton, who was recalled earlier in the day.
Dodgers: RHP Brandon McCarthy (2-0, 1.69 ERA) starts the opener of a three-game series in St. Louis against RHP Michael Wacha (5-7, 4.45)
Nationals: RHP Tanner Roark (9-5, 2.82) continues his impressive season against the San Diego Padres, who are scheduled to start RHP Luis Perdomo (3-4, 7.36) in the series opener at Nationals Park