Strasburg, Nats slow down Giants in marquee matchup


Ian Desmond was looking to go deep in his last at-bat. He settled for a lopsided Washington win.

Desmond had a career-high five RBIs and Stephen Strasburg won his third straight decision for the Nationals in their 9-2 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Monday night.

Desmond came to the plate in the ninth inning needing a home run for the cycle — and he swung for the fences.

“You don’t get that opportunity very often,” he said. “For the record, I probably shouldn’t have slammed the bat after I got out. I was caught up in the moment.”

Denard Span added a triple and two doubles to help the Nationals win for the eighth time in 10 games. Desmond had three hits and Jayson Werth drove in two runs.

San Francisco had its five-game winning streak snapped.

Strasburg (6-4) allowed four hits over six innings and retired his final 10 hitters. He struck out seven and did not walk a batter, improving to 3-0 against the Giants with 29 strikeouts in 25 innings.

Nationals starters have struck out 52 and walked one in their last seven games.

Ryan Vogelsong (4-3) retired 10 of 11 batters during one stretch and pitched into the seventh. But he gave up six runs and nine hits, ending his three-game winning streak.

Brandon Crawford and Joaquin Arias each drove in a run for San Francisco.

Strasburg set down 13 of 14 batters after Crawford’s RBI single.

“My changeup was working really well,” Strasburg said. “It kept them off the fastball. . . .”

Desmond, who owns a .373 career batting average against the Giants, also has an impressive .434 mark (23-for-53) and 51 RBIs with the bases loaded.

Dodgers 6, Reds 2

In Cincinnati, Scott Van Slyke drove in a career-high four runs with two homers off struggling left-hander Tony Cingrani, and Los Angeles pulled away from the Reds for a rare comfortable win in their pitching-dominated series.

Van Slyke hit a solo homer and a three-run shot off Cingrani (2-7), who could lose his spot in the rotation when Mat Latos returns from the disabled list later this week. Cingrani gave up a career-high six runs in 4⅔ innings for his fifth straight loss.

Pirates 6, Cubs 2

In Pittsburgh, Andrew McCutchen homered and drove in three runs to lead the Pirates over Chicago.

McCutchen drove a two-run shot to right field in the third inning and added an RBI double in the fifth off Edwin Jackson (4-6).

Braves 3, Rockies 1

In Denver, Gavin Floyd pitched effectively into the seventh inning for his first win since returning last month from reconstructive surgery on his right elbow, leading Atlanta over Colorado.


Astros 4, Diamondbacks 3

In Phoenix, Jose Altuve had three hits, including an RBI double, Jarred Cosart pitched six solid innings and Houston beat Arizona.

Cosart (5-5) allowed three runs and five hits with two walks. The 23-year-old right-hander struck out eight, matching his career high set in his previous start against the Los Angeles Angels. He retired the first 10 batters, five by strikeout.

The Astros have won four of five and 12 of their last 16.