WASHINGTON (AP) — The Washington Nationals' offense had been hurting with injuries and player slumps dismantling their production.
The Nationals woke up Friday night against Texas starter Colby Lewis, handing the right-hander his first road loss of the season.
Ian Desmond keyed a 15-hit attack with a three-run homer, Stephen Strasburg pitched six solid innings and the Nationals beat the Rangers 9-2.
"Just because the offense wasn't going for a while doesn't mean that they don't have offense," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "Any given night, anything can happen, and tonight they swung the bats. They made things happen."
Jayson Werth and Denard Span had three hits each for Washington, which had lost six of seven.
Washington shied away from saying his team lost control of the game after an early lead, pointing to some two-out hits by the Nationals and a dominant performance by Strasburg.
"I didn't think anything unraveled," Washington said. "I thought Desmond got a pitch out over the plate, he got a home run, and we had other opportunities, but you have to give credit to Strasburg. He shut us down."
Strasburg (4-4) allowed two unearned runs, though his error led to them, and six hits. He struck out nine and walked one.
It was the eighth straight start in which Strasburg has pitched at least six innings and allowed three runs or less. He improved his ERA to a season-low 3.15.
"I think he's coming into his own, starting to show a little bulldogness out there," Desmond said of Strasburg. "I don't know if that's a word, but that's what I see."
The Rangers had runner on base in four of six innings against Strasburg, but couldn't get any timely hits, going 2 for 13 with runners in scoring position.
"First inning, he really had some power behind his fastball and threw some really good breaking balls. Then we started swinging the bats better. The guy's a good pitcher and I thought we held our own," Washington said.
"We had some more opportunities against him and we just couldn't get a base hit."
Adrian Beltre had three hits for Texas, which fell to 6-3 on its 11-game road trip.
Lewis (4-4) allowed six runs, five earned, and nine hits.
He shook off suggestions that his .500 record is frustrating.
"I felt like I warmed up great. I felt like I had great stuff tonight," Lewis said. "They got the hits when they needed to, with two outs, that's it. Nothing more to say."