Jul 25, 2013, 2:02 AM EDT
Game in a nutshell: You had to figure runs would come at a premium tonight, with a perfect storm of events coming together. Stephen Strasburg on the mound for the Nationals. Francisco Liriano starting for the Pirates, a tough lefty against a lineup that struggles against lefties. And Bryce Harper and Ian Desmond out of the lineup to rest some nagging bumps and bruises. Sure enough, both starting pitchers absolutely dominated. Strasburg was brilliant for eight innings, allowing only Pedro Alvarez's second-inning homer while striking out a season-high 12 batters. But once again, the Nationals offered him no run support and left him in line to take the loss. Liriano carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning, finally surrendering an infield single to Anthony Rendon. The Nats remained in the game, though, because of Strasburg's dominance and trailed 1-0 when the ninth inning arrived. Drew Storen and Fernando Abad, though, combined to give up three runs in the inning, though, and suddenly that 1-run deficit became a 4-run deficit. Which proved really costly after Jayson Werth crushed a two-run homer, his fifth in four days. Alas, the Nationals still needed two more runs, which they didn't get. So, the losing streak is now at six games, with the Nats having dropped 11 of their last 13 to fall to five games below the .500 mark.
Hitting lowlight: Liriano is having an outstanding season, there's no question about that. But it's hard to really judge opposingRead more »
FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS
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MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
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