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Washington Nationals even things up with Minnesota Twins, win 6-2 in Target Field...

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Stephen Strasburg held the Twins to two run in six innings, and the Nationals supported their starter with five runs in the first three innings in what ended up a 6-2 win.

Washington Nationals v Minnesota Twins Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

With two runs in the first inning, on RBI singles by Juan Soto and Ryan Zimmerman, and a three-run third in which Howie Kendrick doubled to drive in a run and Zimmerman hit one out to left field in the at bat that followed, the Washington Nationals scored enough to win the 2nd of 3 with the Minnesota Twins in Target Field, 6-2 final.

Stephen Strasburg gave up both of the runs he allowed on a two-run home run by Jorge Polanco in the bottom of the third, and held the Twins to four hits total over six innings, earning the win which sets up a rubber match tomorrow night in Minneapolis...

Strasburg vs the Twins: After tossing eight scoreless against the Miami Marlins in which he struck out 14 of 25 batters at home in the nation’s capital, Stephen Strasburg gave up four hits and three runs in six innings against the Atlanta Braves on the road in SunTrust Park in his last start before tonight’s against the Twins in Minnesota’s Target Field.

That start left Strasburg with a 3.50 ERA, a 3.20 FIP, 47 walks (2.29 BB/9), and 222 Ks (10.80 K/9) in 185 IP on the season going into tonight’s outing, and he took the mound with a 2-0 lead in the first, and had a 5-0 lead after two scoreless, before he gave two runs back on a two-run home run to right field by Jorge Polanco, who got hold of a 94 MPH, 0-1 fastball up high, outside, and powered it out to right, 5-2.

Strasburg gave up just the two runs on four hits through five, with a 22-pitch fifth leaving him at 98 pitches total, and he came back out for the sixth with a three-run lead and got through the inning on six pitches, retiring the Twins in order to keep it a 5-2 game.

Stephen Strasburg’s Line: 6.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 Ks, 1 HR, 104 P, 66 S, 7/2 GO/FO.

Pérez vs the Nationals: Twins’ starter Martín Pérez went six strong last time out on the hill, in Fenway Park, holding the Red Sox to a run on two hits in a 2-1 game in which he earned his 10th win of the season, (10-6), lowering his ERA to 4.75 with 61 walks and 121 Ks in 147 23 IP in 2019.

Pérez gave up three hits, a walk, and two runs in the first inning tonight, with Adam Eaton doubling with one down, and scoring, after Anthony Rendon took a free pass, when Juan Soto singled to center.

Rendon scored on a two-out RBI single to center field by Ryan Zimmerman that made it 2-0 after a 1/2-inning in Target Field.

Juan Soto walked with two out in the third inning, and scored from first on a double out to right field by Howie Kendrick, who got a fly over Eddie Rosario’s head, and a two-run home run to left by Ryan Zimmerman in the next at bat made it a 5-0 game.

Pérez held it there through five, 5-2, giving up just the five runs before he was done...

Martín Pérez’s Line: 5.0 IP, 6, 5 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 4 Ks, 1 HR, 90 P, 59 S, 3/3 GO/FO.

RendOBP: Anthony Rendon was hitless last night, in the series opener in Target Field, but he did take a walk in the seventh inning, extending his on-base streak to 25-straight games, over which the Nationals’ 29-year-old third baseman was 40 for 98 (.408/.482/.735) with 11 doubles, seven home runs, and 14 walks in 114 plate appearances.

Rendon got the streak-extending over with early tonight, walking in his first trip to the plate and scoring the second of two runs the Nationals scored in the opening frame.

BULLPEN ACTION: Twins’ right-hander Zack Little threw a 1-2-3 sixth after taking over on the mound.

Brusdar Graterol got the seventh for the home team, and retired the side in order in a 23-pitch frame.

Wander Suero gave up a two-out single by Jason Castro in the bottom of the seventh, so Nats’ skipper Davey Martinez went to Sean Doolittle vs left-hand hitting Luis Arraez, who lined out to left to end the inning. Still 5-2 Nats.

Fernando Romero gave up back-to-back singles by Kendrick (3 for 4) and Zimmerman (3 for 4) in the top of the eighth, but stranded both runners at the end of a 21-pitch frame.

Fernando Rodney gave up an infield single by Jorge Polanco in the first at bat of the Twins’ eighth, then walked Nelson Cruz, after getting up 0-2 on the slugger.

Eddie Rosario hit one out to left for the first out of the inning, Willians Astudillo popped out to center, and Ehire Adrianza popped out to Trea Turner in short center for out No. 3.

Randy Dobnak gave up a solo home run to left with one out in the ninth, when Trea Turner hit a 1-1 curve out for his 14th of 2019 and a 6-2 lead.

Daniel Hudson came on in the bottom of the ninth and tossed a relatively quick, scoreless frame, working around back-to-back, two-out hits by Jason Castro and Luis Arraez to end it.

Ballgame.

Final Score: 6-2 Nationals.

Nationals now 80-64