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Stephen Strasburg Strikes Out Nine as Nationals Top Rockies 2-1

Stephen Strasburg allowed one run on five hits and struck out nine in seven innings as the Washington Nationals topped the Colorado Rockies 2-1 in a Major League Baseball contest.

Strasburg (4-6), making his 14th start of the season, got his first win since May 31 after Ian Desmond hit a home run in the seventh inning last night to put Washington ahead at Nationals Park.

“He threw great,” Nationals manager Davey Johnson told reporters. “We’ve been scoring practically nothing (for him). It was a big win for him and for us.”

Manny Corpas (0-2) gave up one run on one hit in 1 2/3 innings for the Rockies, who lost their fifth straight game.

In two starts since returning from the disabled list on June 16, Strasburg has given up one earned run and seven hits over 12 innings.

“The big thing is you have to go out there with the same mentality every time out regardless of what’s happened in the past,” Strasburg said. “That’s pitching to contact, keeping your team in the ballgame.”

Strasburg, 24, who signed a record $15 million four-year contract, set a major league record with 41 strikeouts in his first four starts in the 2010 season and went 5-3 with a 2.91 earned run average and 92 strikeouts in 68 innings. He threw a mixture of fastballs that reached 100 miles (161 kilometers) per hour, changeups and breaking pitches.

His career was interrupted by so-called Tommy John surgery on Sept. 4, 2010, to replace a ligament in his throwing arm two weeks after he injured it. He spent the 2011 season rehabbing with minor league teams. Last season he went 15-6.

Johnson said Nationals’ outfielder Bryce Harper, who has been on the disabled list since May 26 with bursitis in his left knee, is expected to begin rehabilitation with single-A Potomac on June 25.

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