ST. LOUIS (AP) — For the second straight game, a Washington Nationals starter could have used one do-over. Both times, it was against Matt Adams.
Stephen Strasburg got a little too much of the plate on a 3-1 fastball that Adams hammered for the go-ahead home run leading off St. Louis' three-run seventh in a 4-1 victory Saturday night.
"In that situation I wanted to throw him a borderline pitch, I didn't want to just lay one in there," Strasburg said. "But I think I need to throw a different pitch because you can see he can hit a ball a long way."
Strasburg (6-5) allowed three runs in 6 2-3 innings with five strikeouts and a walk. It was his 11th consecutive quality start, but he dropped to 5-3 with a 2.22 ERA in that stretch that began April 20 when he gave up two runs in six innings at home against the Cardinals.
"In the grand scheme of things you can always second-guess yourself," Strasburg said. "But I think if I threw a 3-1 changeup there, especially if he's in swing mode, I probably wouldn't have had that result.
"Who knows? I'm not going to dwell on it too much, just going to learn from it and move on."
Strasburg made his first career appearance in St. Louis. He missed the Nationals' five-game NL division series loss in 2012 after getting shut down the final month due to concerns about a heavy workload.
"It was just fun to finally get a chance to pitch here," Strasburg said. "I wanted to go out there and give it everything I had and I feel like I did that, so I can sleep easy tonight."
Jayson Werth had an RBI double in the first for the Nationals, who managed just four hits for a two-day total of six and have scored two runs during a three-game losing streak. It's their first series loss since losing a pair to Miami from May 26-28, and they will try to avoid a three-game sweep in the series finale Sunday.
"Last three games it just hasn't been there for us," manager Matt Williams said. "If we know anything, it can turn around in a hurry. We just have to be prepared for tomorrow."
On Friday, Adams homered off Jordan Zimmermann on his first swing since coming off the 15-day disabled list from a left calf strain, lifting St. Louis to a 1-0 victory.