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Washington Nationals drop series opener to San Francisco Giants, 7-3 in D.C.

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Stephen Strasburg gave up three home runs and four runs total in six innings on the mound against the Giants, who took the series opener in Nationals Park, 7-3.

MLB: San Francisco Giants at Washington Nationals Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Stephen Strasburg gave up three home runs and four runs total in six innings of work on the mound against the San Francisco Giants, who took the series opener from Washington, 7-3, in Nationals Park.

Anthony Rendon extended his hit streak to 14 straight games though, so there’s that.

Strasburg vs San Francisco: Through three starts, (after a four-inning, six-hit, four-walk, six-run outing against the Philadelphia Phillies last time out), Stephen Strasburg had a high 5.40 ERA and a .242/.315/.424 line against in 16 23 IP this season, over which he’d given up seven walks, while striking out 20 batters, before taking on San Francisco’s Giants tonight.

Making his second 2019 start at home in the nation’s capital, Strasburg, who’d surrendered seven hits, two walks, and four earned runs over six innings in his first start of the season in D.C., retired the first six batters he faced before driving in a run with an RBI double to center in the bottom of the second to give himself a 1-0 lead to work with.

Strasburg retired 12 of the first 14 batters he faced through four scoreless, throwing 58 total pitches, but Evan Longoria broke up the righty’s shutout bid in a big way with a leadoff blast that cleared the out-of-town scoreboard in right-center to tie things up at 1-1 in the fifth.

Steven Duggar took Strasburg deep with two down in the Giants’ fifth, hitting a first-pitch fastball out to left for a two-run blast that put the visiting team up 3-1.

Brandon Belt hit a first-pitch fastball out to right with one down in the sixth, hitting the third homer of the game off Strasburg into the right field bullpen for a 4-1 lead. Belt’s 4th of 2019.

Stephen Strasburg’s Line: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 8 Ks, 3 HRs, 97 P, 68 S, 7/1 GO/FO.

Rodríguez vs Washington: Dereck Rodríguez, whose father caught Stephen Strasburg’s MLB debut in 2010, faced off against his dad’s one-time teammate tonight in the series opener between the Nationals and Giants in D.C.

Rodríguez, 26, was coming off back-to-back losses when he took the mound tonight with a 4.15 ERA, one walk, 12 Ks, and a .227/.250/.409 line against in 17 13 IP. He issued his second and third walks of the season in back-to-back at bats with one down in the home-half of the first tonight, but stranded both runners.

Wilmer Difo doubled with one down in the Nats’ second, and the opposing pitcher, Stephen Strasburg, followed with an RBI double of his own on a 2-1 fastball he lined to center field to drive in the first run, 1-0.

Evan Lonogria (solo shot) and Steven Duggar (2-run blast) gave Rodríguez a 3-1 lead to work with after five, and the right-hander tossed a scoreless fifth, catching both Brian Dozier and Anthony Rendon looking for the final two outs of the frame, after which Nats’ skipper Davey Martinez was ejected for arguing balls and strikes with home plate umpire Tony Randazzo.

Dereck Rodríguez’s Line: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 Ks, 98 P, 54 S, 1/3 GO/FO.

Rendon is Streaking: Anthony Rendon’s extra-base hit streak ended after 12 games, when he singled for his only hit in Sunday’s loss to the Pirates, but he extended his hit streak to 13-straight since he went hitless in the season opener, and the 28-year-old third baseman was 21 for 47 (.447/.500/1.000) with eight doubles, six home runs, five walks, and eight Ks over the course of his streak.

Rendon walked the first time up tonight, and sent a fly to left for an out in his second at bat, 0 for 1, BB.

He was 0 for 2 after he K’d looking at a questionable third strike call to end the fifth inning.

Rendon came up with Adam Eaton on second and two out in the seventh, against righty Sam Dyson, and singled to center, 14-game hit streak, and an RBI, 6-3.

BULLPEN ACTION: Reyes Moronta took over for the Giants in the bottom of the sixth inning, and worked around a two-out walk to keep it a 4-1 game.

Austen Williams made his 2019 debut for the Nationals in the top of the seventh inning, and gave up a leadoff walk that came around to score after Kevin Pillar, who took the free pass, stole second and scored on an RBI double by Gerardo Parra, 5-1. That was it for Williams.

Bench coach/acting manager Chip Hale went to the pen again for Matt Grace vs left-hander Pablo Sandoval, who K’d swinging for the first out of the frame, but Steven Duggar reached on an error, and Joe Panik brought Parra in from third with a bunt single, 6-1.

Matt Adams hit a pinch hit home run off Sam Dyson to lead off the bottom of the seventh, 6-2.

Adam Eaton doubled off Dyson, and scored on a two-out RBI single by Anthony Rendon, 6-3, but lefty Tony Watson came on for Dyson and got out No. 3 on a groundout by Juan Soto.

Trevor Rosenthal hit the first batter he faced, and walked the second, in the Giants’ half of the eighth, and after a backwards K, a broken-bat single to center by Kevin Pillar brought the HBP around, 7-3.

One-time Nationals’ reliever Mark Melancon tossed a quick, 1-2-3 bottom of the eighth.

Tony Sipp worked a scoreless ninth to keep it a four-run game, but the Nationals came up empty against Melancon and Will Smith in the bottom of the ninth.

Nationals now 7-8