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Stephen Strasburg strikes out nine; Washington Nationals and St. Louis Cardinals settle for 4-4 tie...

Stephen Strasburg struck out nine of the 26 batters he faced in what ended up a 4-4 tie with the Cardinals.

MLB: Spring Training-St. Louis Cardinals at Washington Nationals Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

A nasty backdoor curve got Dexter Fowler looking, and after he threw a wicked changeup by Paul Goldschmidt for strike two, Washington Nationals’ right-hander Stephen Strasburg painted the outside corner with a fastball that got the St. Louis Cardinals’ hard-hitting first baseman swinging for the first out of the opening frame of today’s game, but a couple of balls hit toward Andrew Stevenson in right weren’t caught and they led to the first run of the game for the Cards crossing the plate.

Stevenson got turned around a fly to the track off Drew Robinson’s bat in the first AB of the game, then tracked a fly to the line in right off Tyler O’Neill and had the two-out drive fall in for an RBI double, 1-0.

Strasburg picked up his third K of the inning with a 2-2 change to former Nats’ catcher Matt Wieters that caught the outside edge for a called third strike on his 19th pitch of the inning.

Former Nationals’ prospect Max Schrock doubled to right with two down in the second, and the opposing pitcher, Miles Mikolas, hit a 1-0 fastball up in the zone out to left-center for a two-out, two-run home run that put the Cardinals up by three, 3-0, at the end of a 13-pitch frame that left Strasburg at 32 pitches total after two.

Fowler K’d swinging again in his second at bat when Strasburg dropped a 1-2 change on the Cards’ outfielder that dropped out of mid-air halfway to home. Goldschmidt fell behind 1-2 as well, before grounding out, and Strasburg retired Matt Wieters to finish a 19-pitch third at 51 pitches total.

Strasburg picked up his 5th K with a 2-2 fastball low in the zone to Tommy Edman for out No. 2 of 14-pitch, 1-2-3 fourth that left him at 65 pitches total.

Pinch hitter Scott Hurst watched a backdoor 2-2 curveball fall in for a called third strike and Strasburg’s 6th K, Drew Robinson threw his bat a filthy 0-2 change for out No. 2 and K No. 7, and Fowler stared a 93 mph 1-2 fastball into Kurt Suzuki’s glove for out No. 3 and K No. 8. 12-pitch fifth, 77 total.

Back-to-back, one-out singles, and a swinging bunt loaded the bases in the Cardinals’ sixth, pushing Strasburg up to 91 pitches, but a 1-2 two-seam fastball inside to Tommy Edman was called strike three (for K No. 9), before Max Schrock hit a grounder toward third base and beat the throw to first for an RBI single, 4-4. That was it for Strasburg...

Run Trea Run: Davey Martinez wants Trea Turner to try to swipe more bags (and actually steal them, obviously).

Turner walked to start the bottom of the first this afternoon, and promptly stole his third bag of the Spring off starter Miles Mikolas and Cards’ catcher Matt Wieters, but he was stranded there two outs later.

Runs: Jake Noll beat the shift with a two-out opposite field single in the Nationals’ half of the second, improving to 15 for 44 (.341 AVG) on the Spring, and he and Wilmer Difo (who took a walk in the next at bat) both scored on a two-run double to left-center by Victor Robles, 3-2.

Anthony Rendon launched a full-count fastball from Mikolas to left with one out in the Nats’ third, hitting a game-tying solo shot over the outfield fence for his 4th HR of the Spring, 3-3.

Matt Adams got hold of a 1-2 pitch in the next at bat, taking Mikolas deep to right field for a go-ahead blast, 4-3, his 4th as well.

BULLPEN ACTION: Austen Williams picked up a strikeout after taking over on the mound for Strasburg in the top of the sixth inning, and he came back out with a 1-2-3 seventh inning.

Trevor Rosenthal gave up a leadoff single and back-to-back, two-out walks, loading them up before Yadiel Hernandez made a diving catch in left field to rob Jose Martinez and keep it all tied up at 4-4 after seven and a half.

Justin Miller got the top of the ninth for the Nationals, working around a HBP and a walk for a scoreless frame, and the home team came up empty in the bottom of the inning, 4-4 tie.