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Nationals' Strasburg finishes season with win

The SportsXchange

PHOENIX -- Washington created a national debate when it shut down Stephen Strasburg in the middle of a playoff race last September. He made it all the way through this year, finishing on a high note.

Strasburg gave up two runs in seven innings and Jayson Werth added a three-run, tiebreaking home run in Washington's 8-4 victory over Arizona on Friday night at Chase Field.

"I'd say I learned a lot. It's all about whether or not I can apply it," said Strasburg, who compiled 183 innings after going 159 1/3 in 2012.

"I think physically I held up pretty well. I think the one thing I learned was that sometimes less is more. I like to work really hard, and when you get to a point in September you've really got to back things off or it's going to be counterproductive."

Strasburg (8-9) struck out four and benefited from two double plays while lowering his ERA to 3.00. He was 15-6 a year ago.

"We didn't score him any runs," Washington manager Davey Johnson said. "A bunch a times we didn't score any runs or one run or two runs when he was starting. He should have won 15 ballgames, at least. He certainly was consistent all year long."

Werth's homer, his 25th of the season, capped a four-run fifth inning off Arizona left-hander Patrick Corbin (14-8) and gave the Nationals a 5-2 lead.

Wilson Ramos hit a three-run homer in the eighth for the Nationals (85-75), who were eliminated from National League wild-card contention earlier in the week in St. Louis. Ramos has a career-high 16 homers, one more than he hit last year.

Gerardo Parra had two hits and an RBI for the Diamondbacks (80-80), who have scored eight runs while losing four of their last five games. The D-backs have never been below .500 this season.

Corbin, who began the season 9-0 and did not have a loss until July, has given up 32 earned runs in 36 innings in his final seven starts. His 2.35 ERA at the All-Star break is now a season-high 3.41.

"The ball to Werth, he (Corbin) tried to get it inside on him," Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said. "Earlier in the year, he would get it in there. His slider is a weapon, and he really didn't have his good slider for several starts now."

Corbin lost six of his last eight decisions, although his victories came against playoff teams Cincinnati and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

"This last month has been difficult for me and something I want to get over," Corbin said. "Location is a big thing up here, and maybe something I got away from. My stuff diminished a little bit. Made it through a full season and hopefully can improve and get better and learn from my mistakes."

Arizona's Paul Goldschmidt, who leads the league with 36 homers and 124 RBIs, extended his hitting streak to 17 games with a single in the fifth inning.

A.J. Pollock added two hits for the Diamondbacks and Matt Davidson had an RBI double in a two-run ninth.

Strasburg walked Didi Gregorius and hit Corbin before Adam Eaton singled to load the bases in the third. Parra singled in one run before Goldschmidt grounded into a double play for a 2-0 Arizona lead.

Bryce Harper doubled off the center-field fence in the fourth to drive in Werth, who had walked, to make the score 2-1.

The Nationals tied the score in the fifth when Tyler Moore and Anthony Rendon doubled. They went ahead 5-2 when Werth hit a three-run homer off the facing of the second deck in left field.

NOTES: The Nationals will start either LHP Gio Gonzalez or RHP Tanner Roark on Sunday, Johnson said. Johnson has a 1,370-1,070 career record as a manager and told some players he would like to finish 300 above .500. He is retiring after the three-game series ends. "Gio knows it. If we win a couple, he'll go home. If we go 1-1, he'll take the ball. It's kind of complicated and stupid," Johnson said. A few minutes later, Johnson said Roark "probably" would start. ... Goldschmidt and Baltimore 1B Chris Davis are the only major leaguers with at least 36 doubles and 36 homers this season. Goldschmidt has 36 of each. Davis has 53 doubles and 42 doubles. ... Nationals RHP Dan Haren (9-14) will attempt to extend his streak of double-digit victory seasons to nine in his final start of the season on Saturday. He has won at least 10 games every year since 2004, when he became a full-time starter in Oakland.
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