Strasburg is first to 10 wins, Nats beat Phils 9-6
WASHINGTON (AP) Stephen Strasburg hasn't had to be dominant to win games this season.
Strasburg became the majors' first 10-game winner despite a rocky beginning, and the Washington Nationals overcame a four-run deficit to beat the Philadelphia Phillies 9-6 on Friday night.
The Nationals scored in five straight innings after trailing 4-0 in the third. Wilson Ramos, Stephen Drew and Danny Espinosa homered off Jeremy Hellickson (4-4), and Daniel Murphy drove in three runs with a pair of doubles.
Strasburg (10-0) has won 13 consecutive decisions and beat Chris Sale of the Chicago White Sox to the 10-win mark by about an hour. He labored early but finished strong, retiring the final 14 batters he faced after Tommy Joseph's two-run homer in the third. The right-hander struck out 10 and allowed four runs, five hits and one walk over seven innings.
''I wasn't going to change my approach,'' Strasburg said. ''I gave up a few runs there early, but I was going to keep pounding away.''
Strasburg's winning streak, already a franchise record, matches the longest in D.C. baseball history since Walter Johnson won 13 in a row for the Washington Senators in 1924.
Joseph homered twice. The rookie has emerged as Philadelphia's primary first baseman with Ryan Howard struggling.
The Phillies have lost 11 of 14.
Jayson Werth's two-run double off Hellickson cut the deficit in half during the bottom of third. Ramos' and Drew's long balls tied the game 4-4 in the fourth.
Murphy hit into a double play to end Washington's third-inning rally, but the NL batting leader found redemption in the fifth with a go-ahead double. Murphy and Drew hit RBI doubles in the seventh for a 9-4 lead.
The Phillies scored two runs in three different innings, but the Nationals did so four times including the third, fourth and fifth.
''Deuces were wild tonight,'' Nationals manager Dusty Baker said. ''Most of them for us.''
Jonathan Papelbon pitched the ninth inning for his 16th save.
The NL East-leading Nationals returned home after going 6-3 on a three-city trip that began with a three-game sweep at Philadelphia.
Philadelphia swept a three-game series in Washington April 26-28 but trails the season series 6-4.
Hellickson allowed seven runs and nine hits over six innings after giving up seven runs combined over his previous three starts.
''The guys spot me a 4-0 lead in the third inning and I have to make that stand,'' Hellickson said. ''This loss is definitely on me.''
Strasburg, who began the streak Sept. 15, 2015, left his previous start Saturday in Cincinnati in the sixth inning with a cramp in his right calf. By the time he exited his latest outing, he had struck out eight of Philadelphia's nine starters at least once.
After striking out three of the first four batters, Strasburg ran into trouble and the next four Phillies reached. Cody Asche's RBI single drove in the first run and Tyler Goeddel's squeeze bunt doubled the lead.
The second baseman's last 13 hits include three doubles, a triple and four homers. Murphy upped his batting average to .376
JOSEPH JUMPS HOWARD
Joseph will continue to start over Howard after the first multihomer game of his career and becoming the first Phillie since 1913 with seven homers in his first 21 games. ''I can't sit Tommy Joseph,'' said Phillies manager Pete Mackanin, who explained the situation pre-game to Howard. ''I'm sure (Howard is) not happy about it. Pensive. He didn't have a whole lot to say.'' Howard, who is batting .150, didn't start for the seventh time in nine games.
Phillies: RHP Vince Velasquez was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a right biceps strain. The starter was removed from his outing Wednesday at the Chicago Cubs after throwing two pitches. Velasquez is 5-2 with a 3.65 ERA in 12 starts. Philadelphia recalled RHP Luis Garcia from Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
Nationals: 3B Anthony Rendon got the day off after Washington returned early Friday from its long road trip. Drew replaced Rendon and is expected to play in place of a different regular Saturday.
Phillies: RHP Aaron Nola (5-4, 2.65 ERA) is 0-2 with a 4.50 ERA in three starts against Washington this season.
Nationals: RHP Tanner Roark (4-4, 3.21 ERA) starts Saturday's matchup. Roark has a 2.96 ERA in 25 career day-game starts.