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Dusty Baker on Washington Nationals staying focused on tough road trip out west...

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The Nationals got off to a strong start on their nine-game, three-city road trip, sweeping their three-game series with the Giants.

Texas Rangers v Oakland Athletics Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

With Washington’s 3-1 win Wednesday night, Dusty Baker’s Nationals started their nine-game, three-city West Coast road trip with a series sweep of the San Francisco Giants.

The Nats continue the trip tonight against the A’s in Oakland and then move on to Los Angeles for three more with the Dodgers starting on Monday night.

Baker said on Wednesday that he was, obviously, happy to get off to a good start on the road again.

The Nationals have now won more games on the road (17-10) than they have at home this season (16-9).

The Nationals took three straight in AT&T Park for the first time since baseball returned to the nation’s capital in 2005.

It was the Nationals’ fifth win in the last 12 in the Giants’ home park, but their 7th in the last ten overall against San Francisco.

“It’s always tough to sweep here in San Francisco,” Baker said after the Nationals’ eighth win in the last ten on Wednesday night.

“We’ve been flirting with sweeps the last couple series and we wanted this one pretty badly.”

It’s only the beginning of a long trip, of course, and Baker said he knows it can be tough out west.

“We’re still not out of the West Coast,” he said. “You’ve just got to keep plugging, each day at a time, you can’t rest on your laurels here, because this trip, the powers that be and you know how baseball is, it can turn on you pretty quickly, so you can’t gloat about what you’ve done, you’re happy about it, but you realize that you’ve got to keep grinding and keep grinding.”

Baker said before the series opener with the Giants that the Nationals needed to treat the trip like it’s a business trip. He was in California waiting for the team after going to his son’s high school graduation last week, leaving Chris Speier to handle things in D.C.

“Like Bill Walsh used to tell me all the time, this is a business trip, not a pleasure trip,” Baker said.

“This West Coast swing has been the nemesis of many teams and many organizations, and not only distractions, but then you’ve got — I was waking up every day at 4:30 in the morning, you know, and I’m sure these guys — and I’m three days ahead of them, and I just urged them to get their rest and to make sure they eat right and get sleep.”

Max Scherzer dominated the Giants in the complete game on Wednesday night in AT&T Park.

Stephen Strasburg takes the mound in the series opener with the A’s tonight, looking for his fifth win in his last six starts. He’s coming off a (5-0) month of May which saw the 28-year-old right-hander put up a 2.78 ERA, a 2.30 FIP, 11 walks (3.06 BB/9), 43 Ks (11.97 K/9) and a .205/.276/.339 line against in 32 13 innings pitched.