Originally written on Fox Sports Tennessee  |  Last updated 10/19/14
Top_first_year_e2d6
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Stephen Strasburg allowed two hits over six scoreless innings, striking out nine before being pulled Sunday as the Washington Nationals beat the St. Louis Cardinals 4-3. The NL East-leading Nationals took three of four from St. Louis and passed their 80-win total from last season. Strasburg, rocked for seven runs last Tuesday at Miami, left with a 2-0 lead and a 2.94 ERA. He threw 97 pitches and wound up with a no-decision. The 23-year-old Strasburg has struck out a league-leading 195 in 156 1-3 innings this season. The Nationals have repeatedly stated they intend on shutting him down in his first full season since undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2010. The Nationals have been vague about an innings limit, but the team sat Jordan Zimmermann at 161 1-3 innings last season in a similar situation. Nationals manager Davey Johnson said on Thursday that Strasburg is probably down to "two or three" starts, meaning the final one could come Sept. 7 at home against Miami or Sept. 12 at the New York Mets. Ian Desmond and Danny Espinosa produced two-out RBI singles in the seventh that lifted Washington. Kurt Suzuki homered and drove in two runs for the Nationals. The Cardinals rallied in the seventh after Strasburg left with three hits against reliever Sean Burnett, including Daniel Descalso's two-run homer. Washington responded with four consecutive two-out singles against Lance Lynn (13-6). Desmond's flare to center scored pinch-runner Eury Perez with the go-ahead run. Espinosa had three of the Nationals' 13 hits. Ryan Mattheus (2-3) pitched 1 1-3 innings, allowing a run on Tony Cruz's RBI double in the eighth. Tyler Clippard, the worked the ninth for his 29th save. Lynn pitched one inning, allowing two runs on four hits for the Cardinals, who have lost five of six while trying to hold off Pittsburgh for the final NL wild-card berth. Facing the Cardinals for the first time, Strasburg gave up Matt Holliday's two-out double in the first. The All-Star ace held St. Louis without another hit until Holliday's sixth-inning single. Strasburg walked one overall. He fanned at least two hitters in four innings and regained the NL strikeout lead by whiffing St. Louis pitcher Jake Westbrook in the fifth. Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman's throwing error, a walk and a wild pitch put runners on the corners with one out in the fourth. Holliday attempted to score the game's first run on Bryan Anderson's shallow fly ball to right, but Bryce Harper easily threw him out at the plate for the final out. Usually in center, Harper shifted to right with Jayson Werth scratched from the lineup minutes before the first pitch. Suzuki, acquired in a trade with Oakland last month, stroked his third homer on the season in the bottom half. In the sixth, he tacked on a third consecutive single against Westbrook, which scored Desmond and ended Westbrook's day. Westbrook allowed two runs on nine hits with six strikeouts and one walk. He avoided his third loss in four starts when Descalso, the Cardinals number eight hitter, turned on a 3-1 pitch from Burnett for his fourth home run of the season. NOTES: Strasburg also went 1 for 2. He is hitting .277. ... There was no reason provided for Werth's removal from the lineup. He left Saturday's game in the ninth inning with leg cramps. ... The Nationals open a four-game series Monday with Ross Detwiler facing Jeff Samardzija and the visiting Chicago Cubs. ... St. Louis returns home Monday and has Joe Kelly facing Mets starter Collin McHugh.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

LSU fan dies at end of win over Ole Miss

Giants surge past Royals to even World Series

Mich. St. upset with Michigan over spear planted on field

TCU puts up 82 points in win over Texas Tech

Agent: Joe Maddon prepared to sit out season if need be

Report: Chandler Jones could miss rest of season

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Army football enticed recruits with alcohol, women

Report: Kobe viewed Dwight Howard's departure as 'positive'

Lions suspend CJ Mosley, send him home from London

Federal judge blocks New Jersey sports betting law

Report: Bucs sign Gerald McCoy to seven-year extension

Tim Tebow lectures Florida fans about booing

WATCH: Kansas St. fans chant 'We own Texas!'

WATCH: Chris Fowler rips 'stupid' fans over ESPN-SEC bias

WATCH: 5-year-old fan cries over Zdeno Chara's injury

LSU knocks off No. 3 Ole Miss

Miss. St. returns onside kick for TD in win over Kentucky

Bad idea: Couple goes blackface for Ray Rice Halloween costume

WATCH: Kentucky DB Blake McClain lays out Miss. St. WR

WATCH: Dwyane Wade videobombs himself

PHOTO: Blue Jackets forward came real close to losing his eye

WATCH: 350-pound Arkansas lineman throws TD pass

Penn State fans blew air horns outside Ohio State's hotel?

WATCH: Oregon's Charles Nelson has impressive punt return TD

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

WATCH: Fowler rips 'stupid' fans

Maddon prepared to sit out season

MSU upset with Michigan over spear

Couple in Ray Rice Blackface costume

Report: Army enticed recruits with alcohol, women

Penn State fans blew air horn at Ohio State players' hotel?

Tim Tebow lectures Florida fans

NBA Replay Center debuts next week

World Series win = Giants dynasty?

Reliving the worst college football game of the last 10 years

NFL teams facing must-win scenarios in Week 8

What the return of Luis Suarez means for Barcelona

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.