Posted September 28, 2013 on AP on Fox
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Stephen Strasburg ended his season with a strong performance, Jayson Werth and Wilson Ramos each hit three-run home runs and the Washington Nationals opened their final weekend with Davey Johnson as manager by beating the Arizona Diamondbacks 8-4 Friday night. Strasburg (8-9) gave up two runs and six hits in seven innings with four strikeouts, two walks and a hit batter. Werth, who missed the early part of the season with a hamstring injury, sent a pitch from Patrick Corbin (14-8) soaring to deep left field for his 25th home run. Ramos' 16th homer was off Chaz Roe in the seventh. The victory came after the Nationals were swept in three games in St. Louis. The loss Monday eliminated the Nationals from playoff contention after they had the best record in baseball a year ago (98-64). It was another tough outing for Corbin, who started the season 12-1 but was 2-7 in his final 12 starts. He went five innings, allowing five runs, six hits with seven strikeouts and two walks. The young left-hander allowed 32 earned runs in his last 34 innings. Strasburg, whose season is littered with no decisions, had a solid finish after being shut down in the late stages of last season to rest his arm even though Washington was on a playoff run. This year, he was 3-0 in his last eight starts. The Nationals won seven of them. Arizona broke a scoreless tie in the third when Didi Gregorius drew a leadoff walk and Corbin was hit in the foot by a pitch. Adam Eaton's single loaded the bases, then Gerardo Parra singled home the game's first run. Paul Goldchmidt grounded sharply into a double play, but a run scored to make it 2-0. Washington got one in the fourth on Bryce Harper's RBI double, then took over with a four-run fourth. Consecutive doubles by Tyler Moore and Anthony Rendon tied it at 2-2. Jeff Kobernus walked and, with two outs, Werth hit one long and hard off the pitch-count scoreboard just below the Friday's Front Row Sports Grill in left field. The three-run shot put Washington in control 5-2. Ramos blew the game open with his three-run shot in the eighth. Down 8-2, the Diamondbacks scored twice in the ninth on Gregorius' groundout to short and Matt Davidson's double to center. The 70-year-old Johnson is retiring at the end of the season. Goldschmidt singled in the fifth to extend his hitting streak to 17 games, matching his career best set earlier this year. NOTES: Strasburg threw 183 innings this season, Corbin 208 1-3. Strasburg is 25, Corbin 26. ... Nationals manager Davey Johnson says LHP Gio Gonzalez would start the season finale Sunday but indicated the situation remains in flux. ... The run that scored when Goldschmidt hit into a double play does not count toward his NL-leading total of 124 RBIs. Goldschmidt leads the NL with 36 HRs, one more than Pittsburgh's Pedro Alvarez. ... Washington has four players with at least 20 HRs: Ryan Zimmerman (26), Werth (25), Harper (20) and Ian Desmond (20). ... Arizona dropped to .500 (80-80). The Diamondbacks have not been under .500 all season. Last year they finished 81-81. ... On Saturday night, Washington sends RHP Dan Haren (9-14, 4.87) to the mound against Arizona's RHP Brandon McCarthy (5-10. 4.64).
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