MIAMI — Stephen Strasburg dominated his favourite foil Sunday, striking out 11 and allowing two hits in eight innings to help the Washington Nationals avert a series sweep by beating Miami 5-0.
Ryan Zimmerman hit two solo home runs, and Brian Dozier also had a solo homer.
Strasburg (2-1) improved to 18-7 in 32 career starts versus the Marlins. He has won his past nine decisions against them, and has more victories over Miami than against any other team.
The right-hander threw 104 pitches in his longest outing this season. He reached double digits in strikeouts for the 41st time, and the first time this year, while lowering his ERA from 5.56 to 4.11.
The Marlins were shut out for the sixth time. They loaded the bases in the ninth thanks to two walks and an infield single before Sean Doolittle retired Miguel Rojas to complete a three-hitter.
Washington won without slugger Anthony Rendon, who sat out after being hit by a pitch on the left elbow Saturday.
Trevor Richards (0-3) allowed three runs in 6 1/3 innings and was a bit unlucky. Homers by Zimmerman and Dozier were pulled down the left field line and barely cleared the fence.
Zimmerman’s second homer in the ninth also had just enough distance, giving him 999 career RBIs. The homers were his second and third this year, and his average rose to .203.
The Marlins (6-16), who have the worst record in the majors, came up short in a bid for their first series sweep since September 2017.
Rendon’s elbow was heavily taped, but manager Dave Martinez said he’s optimistic his third baseman won’t need to go on the injured list. An X-ray revealed no fracture.
Less than 24 hours after beating Max Scherzer, the Marlins were back in their old rut offensively.
Lewis Brinson went 0 for 3, dropping his average to .179. He’s in a 1-for-27 slump with 16 strikeouts. Curtis Granderson struck out swinging four times, and his average fell to .155.
FAIR WEATHER FANS
The retractable roof was open on a beautiful afternoon, but attendance was only 7,412.
Nationals: RHP Jeremy Hellickson (2-0, 2.63) is scheduled to pitch to start a three-game series Monday and Colorado.
Marlins: begin a six-game trip Tuesday at Cleveland when RHP Pablo Lopez (1-3, 5.85) pitches against RHP Carlos Carrasco (2-2, 7.41).
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