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Nationals, Strasburg lost to Pirates 3-2

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 24, 2014 at 10:44 pm •  Published: May 24, 2014
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PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Nationals stuck with their ace. The Pirates made them pay.

Josh Harrison had a tiebreaking, two-out single two batters after Jose Tabata hit a sacrifice fly off of Stephen Strasburg in the seventh inning, and Pittsburgh handed Washington its fourth straight defeat, 3-2 Saturday night.

Strasburg, who struck out 14 in a memorable major league debut against the Pirates almost four years ago, did not allow a hit Saturday until Walker's homer to center with one out in the fourth.

Pittsburgh managed just three more singles off Strasburg until the seventh, when Russell Martin led off with a single and went to third on a one-out double by Starling Marte before scoring on the sacrifice fly by pinch-hitter Tabata.

"(Strasburg) pitched very well," Washington manager Matt Williams said. "Of course, they got to him in that last inning but I want to give him a chance to get out of there with a tie game. He was still strong. He's our ace, he's deserves a chance to get out of it and it didn't work out."

Gerrit Cole left after six innings trailing by a run while facing Strasburg in the first matchup in the NL of No. 1 overall draft picks in nine years.

Cole — the top pick of the 2011 draft, two years after Strasburg went first — allowed two runs on five hits with seven strikeouts.

Strasburg (3-4) allowed three runs on seven hits with seven strikeouts in seven innings.

Strasburg insisted he wasn't losing his stuff as he crossed the 100-pitch plateau in the seventh.

"My command was still pretty good," he said. "I got a pitch in on Martin and he dumped it into the outfield. I tried to pitch around a couple of guys. The pitch that killed me was the hanging curveball to Marte. That really set up the inning for them."

Of the Harrison at-bat, Strasburg said: "He's the type of hitter who's going to put the ball in play and he put it in the right place."

Harrison followed pinch-hitter Travis Snider, whom the Nationals intentionally walked after Strasburg fell behind 2-0.

"I was pretty much telling myself, 'I feel like I'm seeing everything he's throwing,'" Harrison said of his seventh-inning at bat against Stephen Strasburg. "I was just looking to barrel something up."

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