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Nationals’ starter Joan Adon shows he belongs vs Angels...

It was a solid outing in a 3-0 loss, but there were plenty of positives for Joan Adon.

Washington Nationals v Los Angeles Angels Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Joan Adon had a breakout outing against the Arizona Diamondbacks last month, in which the 23-year-old Washington Nationals’ righty tossed 6 13 scoreless innings, holding the D-backs’ hitters to three hits and two walks, but in back-to-back starts against San Francisco’s Giants which followed, Adon gave up a combined 10 hits, four walks, and nine earned runs over just 8 IP, four in each turn in the rotation.

Coming out of the second start against the Giants (4 H, 3 BB, 4 ER), Adon talked about the need to attack the zone instead of nibbling when asked to assess his own struggles in the outing.

“The main thing is to try to attack the zone,” Adon explained.

“Attack the zone, attack the zone as best as I can.”

Washington Nationals v Los Angeles Angels Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

“Sometimes I start kind of playing around with my pitches,” he added, “and try to needle my way through the zone, but I got to stay more focused and attack the zone more.”

“He’s got to go out and attack the strike zone,” manager Davey Martinez said, echoing his starter’s sentiments.

“His fastball was scattered all over the place today, and he couldn’t really get ahead, and then the pitch count just blew up on him, but we’re going to keep working with him.”

Start No. 6 for the rookie right-hander had a bit of everything, with too many walks (5), big Ks (of Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani) for two of his six strikeouts on the night, and damage control to keep things from getting out of hand as he put runners on throughout his outing in the series opener with the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim last night, but limited the home team to three runs in five innings.

The big blow came from Trout, who hit a middle-middle, 0-2 fastball to center with for a two-run double when he came up with the bases loaded in the home-half of the fifth, to make it a 3-0 game in the home team’s favor. That’s how it ended.

Joan Adon’s Line: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 5 BB, 6 Ks, 85 P, 51 S, 6/1 GO/FO.

Adon generated just six swinging strikes, all with his fastball (which averaged 95 MPH and got up to 96.9), but he got 16 called strikes, 11 with his fastball and five with his curve.

Washington Nationals v Los Angeles Angels Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

“He did really well,” Martinez said after the outing, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman.

“It’s a tough lineup, and after the first inning, he settled down and threw the ball really well.”

“A lineup like they have, which is obviously a very great lineup, it gives me the excitement to try to prove myself,” Adon said, via interpreter Octavio Martinez, and MASN again. “It’s such a great lineup, and if I can hold my own out there and do what I need to do, I can show people that I belong up here.”