Washington Nationals Bryce Harper (34) scores in the fifth inning on a double by Daniel Murphy during a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Monday, Aug. 1, 2016, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Rick Scuteri
August 02, 2016

PHOENIX (AP) Stephen Strasburg even gave himself a little offensive support in picking up his major league-leading 15th win Monday night.

Strasburg made it look easy on the mound and the Washington Nationals did the same with the bats, collecting 19 hits. Anthony Rendon drove in three runs, Daniel Murphy went 3 for 3 and the Nationals beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 14-1.

Strasburg (15-1) allowed a run and three hits in six innings, striking out six and walking two. He also had three hits and an RBI.

''You tell yourself there's a lot of game left and you just have to go out there and do your job,'' Strasburg said of the early offense. ''I try and be aggressive every time.''

Murphy raised his NL-leading batting average to .355 before exiting the game in the top of the fifth inning after he doubled in a run. Murphy was back in the Nationals' starting lineup for the first time since last Friday, when he left due to hamstring tightness.

Manager Dusty Baker said Murphy had to do a lot of running, so he took him out with game well in hand.

''He scored from first, then he had to run on the double, then he scored from second,'' Baker said. ''So that was enough running for the night. We're trying to keep him for the remainder of the season.''

Murphy seemed to understand.

''I do what the skipper says,'' Murphy said. ''Less second-guessing that way.''

Rendon had two hits and is batting .333 with 12 RBIs and four doubles since July 16. Wilson Ramos also had three hits and two RBIs, and Bryce Harper scored three runs.

Arizona starter Archie Bradley (4-7) was roughed up for eight runs and 12 hits in 3 1/3 innings, his shortest outing of the season.

The Nationals jumped on Bradley in the first inning, loading the bases with a one-out infield single by Jayson Werth and walks to Harper and Murphy. Rendon followed with a sacrifice fly, and Ramos, Clint Robinson and Danny Espinosa had RBI singles to make it 4-0.

Werth reached base for the 34th straight game.

''That was just a head-scratcher,'' Bradley said. ''You really toss that one out the window and move on. It was one of those outings you can get too deep and overthink it in what went wrong and why, and then just end up losing your mind.''

The Diamondbacks' run came in the bottom of the inning. Jean Segura led off with a double, moved to third on a sacrifice and scored on Paul Goldschmidt's grounder.

Rendon had a two-run double in the second to push the Nationals' lead to 6-1. Washington scored three runs in the fifth and five in the eighth.

New Washington closer Mark Melancon, acquired from Pittsburgh in the days leading up to Monday's trade deadline, made his Nationals debut in a mop-up role, pitching a scoreless ninth inning.

''Same stuff we saw on the other side,'' Baker said of Melancon. ''We know he throws strikes, we know he's tough to hit.''


Arizona made a couple of deals before Monday's deadline, but nothing on the final day although contending teams expressed ''some'' to ''a lot'' of interest in young pitchers, according to chief baseball officer Tony La Russa. ''The problem was that everyone they were interested in were guys we wanted to keep,'' La Russa said. ''There wasn't anything that was close to making sense based on how we evaluate our club.''

La Russa said over the rest of the season, he'd like to see how the players respond to the adversity of a losing record. Arizona is 43-63 after Monday's loss. ''To me, the most pressing issue is the spirit and the toughness not to give into our record,'' he said.


Nationals: INF Ryan Zimmerman has a sore wrist and is day-to-day after X-rays didn't reveal anything broken.

Diamondbacks: RHP Zack Greinke will pitch for Triple-A Reno in Salt Lake City on Wednesday as he continues to move toward a return from a left oblique strain. ... OF Socrates Brito (fractured right toe) is playing in rehab games in the minors. ... P Rubby De La Rosa (right elbow inflammation) is scheduled to throw on Tuesday.


Nationals: RHP Tanner Roark (10-6, 2.96 ERA) is scheduled for his 22nd start of the season Tuesday.

Diamondbacks: LHP Robbie Ray (5-10) is coming off a career-high 11-strikeout performance in his last start July 28. A former 12th-round pick of the Nationals, he faces them for the first time in his career.

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