Hamels excels, Strasburg hit hard, Phils stop streaking Nats
WASHINGTON (AP) Cole Hamels said he wasn't thinking about a shutout as he kept throwing zeroes against the streaking Washington Nationals on Saturday.
Hamels pitched eight sharp innings, Ryan Howard homered and the Philadelphia Phillies roughed up Stephen Strasburg, beating Washington 8-1 and ending the Nationals' six-game winning streak.
''It's a dangerous team, so that's the least of my worries,'' said Hamels, who had a shutout going until giving up Ian Desmond's RBI double in the eighth. ''They can put up a run, or runs, within seconds.''
Hamels (5-3) won his fourth straight start, and has a 1.53 ERA during that stretch. He gave up one run and five hits, striking out five and walking one.
''Cole was just in control,'' manager Ryne Sandberg said. ''Very good attacking the zone. Real good fastball. Mixed his pitches well.''
Hamels hadn't won four consecutive starts since a five-game run in May 2012. He also snapped his six-game winless streak against the Nationals.
Strasburg (3-5) was chased after 3 2/3 innings. He allowed six runs and seven hits - over his last three starts, he has been tagged for 15 earned runs in 12 innings.
''Yeah, it's frustrating,'' Strasburg said. ''I'm not pitching to my ability, but I've got to keep grinding.''
Howard finished with three hits and Maikel Franco had two hits, including a homer, as Philadelphia lost its second straight.
Howard, who had an RBI double in the third inning, is now 10 for 26 (.385) with three homers and five RBIs through six games of Philadelphia's 10-game trip.
''Just his the way he took the at-bats, his approach, was the vintage Ryan Howard I've grown accustomed to seeing, especially that home run that he hit,'' Hamels said.
Washington's Bryce Harper went 0 for 4 and slammed his bat in disgust after striking out in the ninth inning.
The Phillies got to Strasburg for four runs in the third. A one-out double by Cesar Hernandez put runners on second and third. After Chase Utley's grounder scored Ben Revere, Howard lined a double down the right-field line, sending Hernandez home.
Strasburg quickly got ahead of Franco, but the Phillies' third baseman hit an 0-2 fastball into the right-center field seats, making it 4-0.
''They did a lot of damage with two strikes,'' manager Matt Williams said. ''He had a lot of hitters at two strikes and couldn't put them away.''
Three Washington errors contributed to Strasburg's exit in the fourth when the Phillies added two runs.
Howard homered to center off reliever A.J. Cole to open the fifth.
Nationals: INF Anthony Rendon (oblique, left knee) took full batting practice on the field for the first time. Manager Matt Williams said Rendon will play simulated games in Viera, Florida, beginning early next week. ... Williams said OF Jayson Werth (left wrist contusion) still has swelling in the wrist and is unable to swing a bat.
Washington RHP Tanner Roark makes his first 2015 start Monday in place of RHP Doug Fister (forearm tightness), who's on the disabled list. Roark was 15-10 with a 2.85 ERA as a starter in 2014, but has pitched in relief this season. RHP Jordan Zimmermann will start Tuesday with an extra day of rest.
HEY, YOU MISSED ONE
Hernandez lined what appeared to be an RBI double in the sixth - scoring Revere from first - but shortstop Desmond threw back to first baseman Ryan Zimmerman and Hernandez was called out. Hernandez had stumbled as he approached first base and failed to touch it. He did get credit for an RBI.
Phillies: RHP Aaron Harang (4-3, 1.82) hasn't allowed an earned run over 14 innings in his last two starts. He's 4-5 with a 3.16 ERA in 14 career starts against Washington.
Nationals: RHP Gio Gonzalez (3-2, 4.94) is coming off two no-decisions in which he's allowed 11 earned runs in 10 innings. He's 6-5 with a 3.15 ERA in 13 starts against the Phillies.