Stephen Strasburg pulled during no-hitter in Nationals blowout win

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Welcome to The Walk Off, the nightly MLB recap from Big League Stew. Here we’ll look at the top performers of the night, show you a must-see highlight and rundown the scoreboard. First, we start with a game you need to know about.
Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg looked pretty healthy in his return from the disabled list. So healthy, in fact, that he was completely un-hittable.

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Strasburg returned from a back injury, and dominated the Cincinnati Reds during the team’s 12-1 victory. Strasburg lasted 6 2/3 innings, during the start, giving up zero runs on zero hits.

Yes, that’s right, he was pulled from the contest despite the fact he was throwing a no-hitter.

Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg delivers during the first inning of a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds, Sunday, July 3, 2016, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg delivers during the first inning of a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds, Sunday, July 3, 2016, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Nationals manager Dusty Baker had good reason for making the move, though. Strasburg struggled a bit with his control, walking four hitters. Because of that, Strasburg had thrown 109 pitches when Baker decided to pull the plug.

Considering it was Strasburg’s first start off the disabled list, Baker also probably didn’t want to push him much farther. Given Strasburg’s immense talent, it was better to get him out of the game at that point rather than risk serious injury.

The club’s combined no-hitter lasted just one more batter. Blake Treinen managed to get Billy Hamilton to ground out to end the seventh inning. Matt Belisle replaced Treinen to open the eighth, and promptly gave up a hit to Ramon Cabrera. Cabrera would eventually score, picking up the only Reds run of the game.

In the end, that didn’t really matter. The Nationals still won comfortably. And though he didn’t pick up a no-hitter, Strasburg did manage his 11th win. He’s now a perfect 11-0, and owns a 2.71 ERA.

TOP PERFORMERS

Seth Smith: Smith only managed one hit during the Seattle Mariners’ 9-4 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday, but he made it count. With the bases loaded in the bottom of the third inning, Smith smashed a grand slam to right center. Baltimore would nearly battle back, but Smith’s early grand slam proved too tough to overcome.

Jose Quintana: The Chicago White Sox finally found a way to give Jose Quintana some run support during the club’s 4-1 win over the Houston Astros on Sunday. Granted, the team only managed two runs when he was on the mound, but that was enough. The lefty tossed seven innings, giving up just one run on two hits. Quintana walked two and struck out four, earning his sixth win of the season.

Russell Martin: Martin and the Toronto Blue Jays didn’t let up after snapping the Cleveland Indians’ winning streak Saturday. Toronto destroyed Cleveland again Sunday, picking up a 17-1 victory. Martin played a major part in Toronto’s offensive outburst. The catcher went 3-for-4 at the plate, with a home run and two singles. He scored three runs and drove in five during the drubbing.

MUST-SEE HIGHLIGHT

Minnesota Twins infielder Miguel Sano’s defensive position may have been a question this season, but his arm looks pretty dang good at any spot. Sano proved as much during Sunday’s 5-4 win over the Texas Rangers.

In the top of the first inning, Adrian Beltre hit a ball down the third base line. Sano ranged to his right, scooping the ball in foul territory. He then ran to third base, knowing he could force out the runner, and fired to first. While Sano’s throw was low, he still managed to beat Beltre by a few steps, picking up the double play.

THE REST OF THE SCOREBOARD

Phillies 7, Royals 2: Early home runs by Cameron Rupp and Cody Asche chased Yordano Ventura from the contest after just 2 2/3 innings.

Mets 14, Cubs 3: Jon Lester was destroyed by the Mets. He surrendered eight earned runs over just 1 1/3 innings.

Tigers 5, Rays 1: Mike Pelfrey gave up just one run over 6 1/3 innings. Ian Kinsler and Miguel Cabrera each provided two RBIs a piece.

Red Sox 10, Angels 5: Five different Red Sox drove in runs during the offensive breakout. Angels starter Matt Shoemaker was tagged for five earned runs.

Cardinals 9, Brewers 8: Milwaukee nearly completed a come back in the ninth, scoring four runs before eventually coming up short.

Pirates 6, Athletics 3: An infield single by Erik Kratz gave Pittsburgh a one-run lead in the sixth inning and forced Daniel Mengden from the contest.

Dodgers 4, Rockies 1: Brandon McCarthy looked good in his 2016 debut, tossing five scoreless innings against the Rockies.

Giants 5, Diamondbacks 4: Jake Lamb tied things up with a home run in the ninth, but Ramiro Pena’s double in the 11th won it for the Giants.

Yankees 6, Padres 3: Chad Green allowed just one run over six innings. He struck out six and did not issue any walks in the win.

Marlins 5, Braves 2: J.T. Realmuto had three hits, including a run-scoring single and a solo home run during the victory.

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Chris Cwik is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at christophercwik@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik