Los Angeles Dodgers' third baseman Justin Turner, who already had a career-high 16 home runs on the season, hit two more off of Stephen Strasburg in Thursday afternoon's series finale in the nation's capital, leading LA to a 6-3 win over the Washington Nationals.
Strasburg suffered his first loss of the season, and his first since early September 2015, falling to (13-1) on the year.
"Stras fell behind and he hung a slider 3-2, and the other was a 3-0 home run, that's the one that really hurt, the 3-0 swing," Nationals' skipper Dusty Baker told reporters after the game.
"Usually he doesn't get behind like that and that was kind of the ballgame. Turner 5 and the Nationals 2 or 3, whatever we got."
"It happens," Strasburg explained. "Sometimes you make decent pitches and they hit it and sometimes you make really bad pitches and they hit it as well. Just tried to battle out there today, left on a high note, so that's something I'm going to hold on to."
He settled in after the rough start, retiring 12 of the last 13 batters he faced after he gave up two in the first and four in the fourth for a season-high six runs allowed. What changed over the last few innings?
"Nothing really changed," Strasburg said. "It was just a couple of pitches where I just didn't execute when I needed to and I got beat on it."
Last night, in the Nationals' series-opening loss to San Diego, it was Matt Kemp in Turner's role, doing most of the damage in the Padres' 6-3 win.
Kemp took Tanner Roark deep in the first for a solo blast and got him again in the fifth for a three-run home run that put the Dodgers up for good, 5-3.
The first of the two home runs was the first Roark allowed since the Nationals were in LA last month, snapping a streak of 31 ⅓ IP in which he hadn't allowed anything to leave the yard.
"Usually he keeps the ball down," Baker told reporters after the Nationals' second straight loss. "Usually he keeps the ball down and away. And that prevents you from hitting the ball out of the ballpark, but those balls are up and out over the plate... and similar to the balls Turner hit yesterday. They were up and out over the plate."
"Just left fastball right down the middle, belt-high and I've said it before and I'll say it again, you leave those pitches there and they're going to go far and that's what happened tonight," Roark said.
"Didn't have my best stuff by any means tonight. I stunk. So back to workouts the next four days and then get back at it the next time."
"He wasn't sharp tonight," Baker said. "That's why we went and got him so early. Cause usually he goes deeper in a game than that, but he had 90-something pitches in five and usually that's not Tanner.
"He made a couple mistakes, threw the ball up and in the middle to Kemp, that really hurt, that three-run homer."
Tonight the Nationals turn to Max Scherzer, who's experienced his own home run issues this season, as they try to get back to winning in the second game of three with the Padres in D.C.
Scherzer, who's allowed an NL-leading 21 home runs this season, has given up just one in his last four starts and 27 ⅓ innings pitched. If he and the Nationals' relievers can keep the Padres from going deep, it would end a streak of 20-straight games in which they've hit home runs.