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Washington Nationals rally for 9-5 win over Chicago White Sox in series opener...

After falling behind 5-0 early, the Washington Nationals battled back and beat the Chicago White Sox, 9-5 in the series opener in D.C.

Chicago White Sox v Washington Nationals Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images

Stephen Strasburg struggled early, but after giving up five runs in the first two innings, the right-hander held the Chicago White Sox there as his Washington Nationals teammates got back in the game, scoring two in the third, one in the fourth, and sixth in the fifth to take a 9-5 lead. Strasburg was the pitcher of record when the Nats went ahead, so the 2009 No. 1 overall pick earned his 100th career win when they held on.

Congrats, Stras... though, a pitcher win is like, totally meaningless, you know...

Strasburg vs the White Sox: Unbeaten in his last three starts (2-0) with a 2.05 ERA, four walks, 23 Ks, and a .189/.241/.230 line against in 22 IP, Stephen Strasburg took the hill in tonight’s series opener with the Chicago White Sox coming off a seven inning outing on the road against the Atlanta Braves in which he he struck out 11 of the 29 batters he faced, with a total of five hits and two earned runs allowed in what ended up a 5-4 win.

That outing left the right-hander (5-3) in 12 starts this season, with a 3.19 ERA, 2.69 FIP, 20 walks, and 98 Ks in 79 IP on the year.

Strasburg fell behind early in tonight’s series opener with the Sox, giving up a one-out walk, hit-by-pitch, and an RBI single in the top of the first, 1-0.

Eloy Jiménez drove in run No. 2 with a two-out RBI single, 2-0, and it was 4-0 after a bases-loaded single to left field by Yolmer Sánchez.

Strasburg threw 39 pitches in the first, and was not happy with home plate ump Mike Everitt giving up on his curveballs (in his mind) and calling a few close pitches balls.

An 0-2 fastball up in the zone to Yoán Moncada in the second ended up in the second deck in right field, 5-0 Sox. Moncada’s 11th.

Strasburg’s teammates chipped away at the White Sox’ lead, so the starter took the mound in a 5-3 game in the fifth, and gave up a leadoff walk to Yoán Moncada and a double off the out-of-town scoreboard in right field by José Abreu which put runners on second and third with no one out.

Three outs later, both runners were stranded, however, with two grounders and a swinging K ending a 19-pitch frame which left him at 105 pitches overall.

Stephen Strasburg’s Line: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 6 Ks, 1 HR, 105 P, 67 S, 6/1 GO/FO.

Reynaldo returns to D.C.: Former Nationals’ pitcher Reynaldo Lopez (part of the package sent to the White Sox in the Adam Eaton trade), made his first start against the team that signed and developed him tonight in the nation’s capital.

López, 25, started the night with a 6.20 ERA, a 5.76 FIP, 29 walks, and 60 Ks in 12 starts and 65 13 IP this season, coming off a rough start against the Kansas City Royals in which he got lit up for 12 hits and five earned runs in 5 23 IP, over which he threw a season-and-just-plain-high 118 pitches.

López tossed two scoreless on 35 pitches as the White Sox jumped out to a 5-0 lead, but back-to-back, one-out walks to Trea Turner and Adam Eaton in front Anthony Rendon were not a good idea, and Rendon drove both runners in with a double to the right-center gap on a 96 MPH 1-2 fastball, making it a three-run game, 5-2 Sox. Rendon’s 19th double.

Howie Kendrick replaced Brian Dozier (who got his on the right forearm and left the game after initially staying in) and Kendrick hit a solo home run to center field on an 0-1, 84 MPH changeup from López to lead off the bottom of the fourth and make it a two-run game, 5-3 Sox. Kendrick’s 10th of 2019.

A leadoff double by Trea Turner (No. 7) and a walk to Adam Eaton pushed López up to 91 pitches, but he stayed in to face Rendon for a third time, after a mound visit, and gave up a three-run home run to left-center on the first pitch he threw, a hanging-a$$ slider, and 6-5 Nationals.

That was it for López, a pitch too late...

Reynaldo López’s Line: 4.0 IP, 5 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 4 BB, 4 Ks, 2 HRs, 92 P, 54 S, 4/2 GO/FO.

Rendon is Streaking: With the first of his three singles on Sunday afternoon in Cincinnati, Anthony Rendon extended his on-base streak to 19-straight games, over which he was 25 for 68 (.368/.494/.691) with six doubles, two triples, four home runs, 17 walks, and 20 runs scored.

Rendon grounded out the first time up in the home-half of the first inning, but the second trip to the plate against Reynaldo López went much better, with the 28-year-old’s 19th two-base hit of the season driving in two runs and extending his on-base streak to 20-straight games.

Rendon homered the third time up against López, sending a three-run blast into the left-center seats for his 11th homer of the 2019 campaign.

BULLPEN ACTION: Lefty Josh Osich took over with no one out and the White Sox trailing 6-5 in the fifth, and gave up a one-out double by Matt Adams, an RBI double by by Howie Kendrick, 7-5, and a two-run home run by Victor Robles, 9-5, before he got the final two outs of the Nationals’ fifth.

Matt Grace came on for the Nationals in the top of the sixth and retired the side in order in a 15-pitch frame, which gave him eight-straight scoreless appearances.

Jose Ruiz retired two, but was replaced after a two-out walk to Anthony Rendon, and Jace Fry walked Juan Soto before getting out No. 3, still 9-5 Nationals.

Tanner Rainey got the ball in the top of the seventh, and worked around a one-out single in a 16-pitch frame.

Juan Minaya stranded a one-out double in a scoreless bottom of the seventh.

Wander Suero retired the White Sox in order in a nine-pitch eighth, and he came back out for the top of the ninth and gave up leadoff and one-out singles which led manager Davey Martinez to go to the pen for Sean Doolittle, who got two quick outs to strand the runners he inherited. Ballgame. 9-5 Nationals.

Nationals now 27-33