Washington ace Stephen Strasburg struck out 12 batters as the Nationals beat the Miami Marlins 7-1 on Thursday to complete a three-game sweep of the series and open a two-game lead at the top of the National League East Division.
Washington’s 7-2 record in the embryonic stages of the season was equal best in the National League along with the Milwaukee Brewers, who continued their fine road form with a 6-2 win at the Philadelphia Phillies.
Among the day’s other games, the Arizona Diamondbacks won in 10 innings at the San Francisco Giants and the Chicago White Sox finally ended a dire run of defeats against divisional rivals the Cleveland Indians.
Strasburg (1-1) got 14 consecutive outs in one stretch and allowed only three hits in his 6-2/3 innings, issuing his only walk on his final pitch of the game.
Jayson Werth hit a two-run shot that opened the scoring and Ian Desmond also cleared the fences for the Nationals.
Milwaukee made it six straight wins by defeating Philadelphia 6-2, with Carlos Gomez having three hits and an RBI.
The Brewers’ wins have all come on the road during the streak, moving them within one road win of the franchise record to start a season, set in 1987.
They traveled to Philadelphia following a three-game sweep at defending World Series champions the Boston Red Sox.
Ryan Braun had two hits and an RBI to end the series six for 12 with 10 RBIs.
Arizona’s Tony Campana hit an RBI single with two outs in the 10th inning to give the Diamondbacks a 6-5 win in San Francisco.
Cliff Pennington hit a one-out single and then stole second base on a pitch to Campana with two outs. Campana then blooped a single just over the outstretched glove of the second baseman to score the go-ahead run.
Pennington had two RBIs, while Miguel Montero also drove in two runs.
Chicago ended a run of 14 straight losses to Cleveland by beating the Indians 7-3.
Cuban rookie Jose Abreu connected for his second multihomer game in three days, while Alexi Ramirez homered and drove in three runs for the White Sox.
John Danks (1-0) overcame a rocky start to take the win.
Pittsburgh’s Pedro Alvarez hit a three-run homer to cap a five-run seventh inning which gave the Pirates a 5-4 win over the Chicago Cubs.
Pittsburgh trailed 4-0 before pinch-hitter Travis Snider cut the deficit in half with a two-run homer and Alvarez then put Pittsburgh ahead with his three-run drive — his third homer in the past two games.
The Cubs threatened in the bottom of the ninth, before Jason Grilli retired Emilio Bonifacio on a bases-loaded grounder to first base to end the game.
New York’s Eric Young Jr got three hits, stole three bases and scored four times to give the Mets a 6-4 win over the Atlanta Braves.
New York Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda was the subject of controversy as the hosts beat old rivals the Boston Red Sox 4-1, as it appeared he had a substance on his pitching hand.
The Houston Astros avoided a three-game sweep against Toronto by beating the Blue Jays 6-4, with Robbie Grossman and Jonathan Villar both homering off R.A. Dickey.
The Oakland Athletics did complete a sweep, taking a third straight game against the Minnesota Twins 6-1, with Dan Straily pitching strongly.