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Strasburg making strides

May 5, 2013, 5:10 PM EDT

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Stephen Strasburg allowed four runs but struck out eight over seven innings.

PITTSBURGH — He wasn’t credited with a quality start. He wasn’t credited with a win. But Stephen Strasburg couldn’t help but emerge from yesterday’s start upbeat about the way he pitched.

Though he served up a pair of two-run homers on poorly located fastballs, Strasburg struck out eight Pirates while walking only one and overall was much more efficient during his seven-inning start than he had been in his previous outings over the last month.

“I’m just happy,” he said. “I obviously gave up a couple homers, but I was able to get through the seventh. I feel like in the past, if I gave up that many runs I usually have over 100 pitches through six. I just tried to do a better job of pounding the strike zone.”

Strasburg did do that, throwing 68 percent of his pitches for strikes (65 of 95), up from his 62 percent rate through his first six starts this season. He also got ahead in the count more, firing strike one to 17 of 28 batters, a 61 percent clip more in line with his career rate.
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