OAKLAND -- The Nationals cruised to their fourth straight victory, counting off five home runs and 20 hits, including four each from Daniel Murphy and Brian Goodwin, in a commanding 13-3 series-opening victory over the A's behind Stephen Strasburg at the Coliseum on Friday evening.After finishing off a three-game sweep
OAKLAND -- The Nationals cruised to their fourth straight victory, counting off five home runs and 20 hits, including four each from Daniel Murphy and Brian Goodwin, in a commanding 13-3 series-opening victory over the A's behind Stephen Strasburg at the Coliseum on Friday evening.
After finishing off a three-game sweep of the Giants on Wednesday, the Nationals traversed the Bay Bridge and kept pace in Interleague play, getting solo home runs from Murphy, Michael Taylor and Jayson Werth, and a two-run blast from Goodwin, the first of his career. Anthony Rendon chipped in with a three-run shot in a four-run eighth inning, as Washington ran away with its ninth victory in its last 11 tries.
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"Tonight we were able to put sustained pressure on the opposing pitcher," Murphy said. "Anytime you get traffic on the basepaths it opens up holes. … It just puts the opposing pitcher in high-leverage situations."
Strasburg held the A's to four hits and struck out seven in seven strong innings to pick up his team-leading seventh win. His lone blemish was a two-run homer to Matt Joyce, who also drew two of the three walks issued by Strasburg. Yonder Alonso added a homer in the ninth for Oakland, his 15th of the season.
A's starter Andrew Triggs was rung up for a career-high nine hits, including two homers, and a season high-tying six earned runs in just 3 2/3 innings. The 13 runs and 20 hits allowed by Oakland's staff represent season highs.
"They're first in the National League in just about every offensive category," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "It's a deep lineup, they have speed, they obviously have some power, they defend. It's a really good team. It's a tough team for a starting pitcher. It grinds on you. There's really no break, especially when you have a DH in there as well."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Answering back: After the A's got on the board with a game-tying shot from Joyce in the third inning, the Nationals responded with four runs in the fourth, going into attack mode against Triggs and batting around the order. Back-to-back doubles by Rendon and Matt Wieters untied the game and ignited the charge. Triggs would retire each of his next two batters but none thereafter. Trea Turner sent an RBI single up the middle, Werth drew a walk, and Murphy delivered his third hit of the night, a run-scoring base hit that chased Triggs from the game. The Nationals kept at it, though, getting an RBI single from Ryan Zimmerman off right-hander Frankie Montas, who walked Adam Lind before ending the inning.
"That's the thing I'm the most frustrated with, honestly. You need a shutdown inning," Triggs said, "and I didn't deliver it, so that's hands-down the thing I'm most frustrated about. We put ourselves in a position to tie the game against a good team and a good pitcher, and I made it easy for them to pull away.
"I would've liked to have gone longer, but at the end of the day, I need to make better pitches because you get pulled in the fourth, that's embarrassing on my end, and that's all on my performance. That's on me."
No Bryce? No problem: Goodwin, drawing his second straight start in right field in place of Bryce Harper, who is serving a three-game suspension, made good on the opportunity with a standout night at the plate. Goodwin fell a double short of hitting for the cycle, tallying singles in two of his first three trips to the plate, before busting out for a homer in the seventh and a triple in the eighth from the ninth spot of the batting order.
"It was a great feeling," Goodwin said. "It was a feeling I've been looking for for a long time. Finally get that monkey off my back."
"Everybody remembers their first homer and first four-hit game," Nats manager Dusty Baker said. "He's worked hard to get here and he's working hard to stay here especially in Bryce's absence."
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This is the eighth time this season the Nationals have scored double-digit runs, and they have scored 13 or more runs six times, matching a team (2005-present) record.
This was also career win No. 1,800 in Nationals manager Dusty Baker's career, making him just the 16th manager in MLB history with that many wins.
"Congratulations to him," Melvin said. "I know Dusty real well. Days back when he was actually a hitting coach for the Giants when I was there. We've been close ever since. 1,800 wins is a lot of wins. That's a nice little feather in his cap. I know to him it's just another big round number but to anybody that does this job knows that's a ton of wins and you have to be pretty darn good at your craft to get 1,800 wins."
Nationals:Joe Ross grew up about 10 minutes from the Coliseum and he will get his first opportunity to pitch there as a Major Leaguer for Saturday's matchup with the A's at 4:05 p.m. ET.
A's: The A's will send right-hander Daniel Mengden to the mound for Saturday's 1:05 p.m. PT matchup with the Nationals at the Coliseum. Mengden was recalled from Triple-A Nashville to make a start in Cleveland on Monday, stumbling through 3 1/3 innings with five runs and seven hits -- including three home runs -- allowed.
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Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.
Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.