PHILADELPHIA -- Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg looked like his old self on Sunday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park.
He allowed four hits, two runs, one walk and struck out nine over seven innings in a 3-2 victory over the Phillies in Game 1 of a doubleheader. Strasburg is 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA in two starts since returning from the disabled list because of neck and back issues. He has allowed eight hits, two runs, two walks and struck out 15 over 12 innings in those starts.
"He pitched great. No restrictions up to 110 pitches. Good fastball, even in the last inning. Made a good pitch to get out of it," Nationals manager Matt Williams said. "It's nice that he's healthy. That's nice that he's going out there and had no issues. When he doesn't, that could be the result."
Phillies right fielder Jeff Francoeur hit a solo homer and had an RBI single to account for Philadelphia's two runs, as Kevin Correia allowed three runs (one earned) over 5 1/3 innings.
"Strasburg pitched about as well as I've seen him pitch in a couple years," said Phillies interim manager Pete Mackanin. "He used his breaking stuff and threw it for strikes, and he still had his good velocity. He pitched better than we've seen him in the past -- especially this year."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Strasburg has quality start: Whatever mechanical issues Strasburg may have had, it is in the past. Strasburg was solid in his second outing since coming off the disabled list. He pitched at least seven innings for the first time since April 19. At one point during the game, Strasburg fanned five out of six batters.
"Fastball command was good. The changeup is starting to come back to me, and I'm executing it a lot better. The curveball was there, too," Strasburg said. "It's good trying to get into a routine. Everything is feeling good. I'm going to stick to the program and keep moving forward." More >
Timely hitting from the Nats: Down, 1-0, the Nationals took a 3-1 lead by the sixth inning. Washington tied things up at 1 in the fifth, when Denard Span scored on a sacrifice by Danny Espinosa. An inning later, the Nationals scored two more runs. Michael Taylor highlighted the scoring with an RBI double.
Diekman is wild: Phillies left-hander Jake Diekman replaced Jeanmar Gomez with two on and two out in the sixth, but he walked Span on four pitches to load the bases. His first pitch to Espinosa -- a slider -- sailed high and wide away from Cameron Rupp. The play, officially ruled a passed ball, allowed Dan Uggla to score to hand the Nats a 3-1 lead. More >
Frenchy gives, Frenchy takes: Francoeur hit a solo home run to left field in the second inning to hand the Phillies a 1-0 lead. He also singled to score a run in the sixth. But he twice mishandled a ball Span hit to the right-field wall in the fifth, which allowed the Nationals to tie the game. Francoeur first bobbled the ball trying to pick it up. He then threw the ball about three feet in front of him, which allowed Span to reach third. Span scored on Espinosa's sacrifice fly. More >
"Brown doesn't have numbers for me to justify playing him against a righty or a lefty." -- Mackanin, on why Francoeur started against Strasburg and not Domonic Brown, who hits left-handed.
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
In the ninth inning, Ian Desmond hit into a force play, but the Nationals claimed that Uggla was safe at second base. After three minutes and three seconds, the play stood and the Nationals lost their challenge.
JOSEPH MOVES TO FIRST BASE
Tommy Joseph, whom the Phillies acquired in July 2012 from the Giants in the Hunter Pence trade, is changing positions. He will move from catcher to first base following numerous concussions. More >
Nationals: The Nationals have the day off on Monday and then start a three-game series against the Braves starting on Tuesday night. The last time these two teams met was last week at Nationals Park, with the Nationals sweeping the three-game set. Game time for the first game is at 7:10 p.m. ET, with Jordan Zimmermann set to make the start. He pitched eight scoreless innings vs. Atlanta on Wednesday.
Phillies: The Phillies open a four-game series on Monday night against the Brewers at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies and Brewers have the two worst records in baseball. Phillies right-hander Sean O'Sullivan (1-5, 5.34 ERA) faces Brewers right-hander Jimmy Nelson (4-8, 4.34 ERA) in the series opener at 7:05 p.m. ET.