Stephen Strasburg hit his first major league home run and struck out eight batters in five innings to carry the Washington Nationals past the Baltimore Orioles 9-3 in interleague play on Sunday.
Strasburg sent an 0-2 pitch from Chen Wei-yin into the Baltimore bullpen in the fourth inning to put the Nationals ahead 5-3. After dusting off his home run trot and returning to the dugout, Strasburg responded to a curtain call by waving to the crowd of 41,918.
The hard-throwing Strasburg singled and scored in the third inning, then followed a shot by Jesus Flores with one of his own in the fourth.
Known more for his pitching than his hitting, Strasburg (4-1) -excelled at both. The right-hander allowed three runs, one earned, four hits and a walk in his first career appearance against Baltimore. He retired the last 10 batters he faced.
Danny Espinosa also homered, while Bryce Harper drove in two runs and scored three to help the Nationals avert a three-game sweep by their regional rivals.
TIGERS 4, PIRATES 3
In Detroit, Michigan, Max Scherzer struck out 15 — the most by a Detroit pitcher in 40 years — as the Tigers rallied with three runs in the seventh inning to beat Pittsburgh.
Scherzer (3-3) threw 115 pitches in seven innings and was done for the day when the Tigers came back from a 2-1 deficit, while he was still the pitcher of record. Alex Avila hit a two-run single through a drawn-in infield to put Detroit ahead.
Mickey Lolich struck out 15 -batters for the Tigers in 1972 and set the club record of 16 in 1969.
In other interleague play, it was:
‧ Marlins 5, Indians 3
‧ Red Sox 5, Phillies 1
‧ Braves 2, Rays 0
‧ Brewers 16, Twins 4
‧ Padres 3, Angels 2, 13 inns
‧ Rangers 6, Astros 1
‧ Mets 6, Blues Jays 5
‧ Reds 5, Yankees 2
‧ Athletics 6, Giants 2
‧ Mariners 6, Rockies 4
‧ Diamondbacks 2, Royals 0
‧ White Sox 6, Cubs 0
In National League play, it was:
‧ Dodgers 6, Cardinals 5