Stephen Strasburg belts 420-foot homer in 3-hit, 5-RBI hitting clinic in Atlanta

Chris Lingebach
July 18, 2019 - 9:42 pm
Stephen Strasburg belts 420-foot homer in 3-hit, 5-RBI hitting clinic

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

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The Nationals entered a pivotal four-game series in Atlanta Thursday badly in need of a victory to gain ground in the NL East.

What they didn't know is they were about to get a three-for-three, five-RBI performance from the most unlikely suspect.

The Braves, who brought a 6.5-game NL East lead over the Nats into the series, struck first, taking a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first.

The Nats would erupt in the third, with starter Stephen Strasburg helping his own cause better than any Washington pitcher ever has.

Strasburg led off the inning with a single off of right-handed Atlanta starter Kyle Wright (right-on-right crime!).

Adam Eaton tripled two batters later, and, wouldn't you know, Strasburg found some wheels and booked it from first to home, scoring the game-tying run to make it 1-1.

The Nats strung together four more runs on an Anthony Rendon double, three walks — the latter walking in a run — a Wild Pitch and a ground-rule double from Victor Robles, who drove in two to give Washington a 5-1 lead.

With two outs, desperate to get out of the inning, Braves manager Brian Snitker called for right-hander Touki Toussaint from the bullpen to face Strasburg.

The move backfired, as Strasburg, in his second plate appearance of the inning, drilled a 1-0 fastball deep into the left field seats — 420 feet, to be exact — for a three-run bomb and an 8-1 lead. It was Strasburg's fourth career home run and his first since Aug. 30, 2017.

Strasburg's hitting line in the third: 2-for-2 with a single, a home run and three RBI.

And he danced!

Strasburg is the first Nationals pitcher to homer since A.J. Cole, whose solo shot on April 3, 2018 also, coincidentally, came at SunTrust Park in Atlanta.

But Strasburg wasn't done. He singled again in the fifth, driving in two Nationals runs for a 10-1 lead to bring his RBI count to five on the day.

Strasburg was lifted from the game after allowing two runs on a walk, a triple and a single in the bottom of the sixth, leaving with a comfortable 10-3 lead.

The Nats would tack on three more and hold on to win, 13-4, to pull within 5.5 games of the Braves in the NL East.

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