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Stras exits in 5th, has words with Max

MLB.com @JamalCollier

WASHINGTON -- Manager Dave Martinez called Stephen Strasburg and Max Scherzer into his office following the Nationals' 8-5 loss to the Braves on Friday night, after the two got into a heated argument in the dugout when Strasburg was removed in the fifth inning of his first start since being activated off the disabled list.

No one would share what was said in the dugout or the office or even what caused the argument, which Martinez chalked up to two competitive players. He also said the 15-minute meeting in his office at Nationals Park was productive.

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WASHINGTON -- Manager Dave Martinez called Stephen Strasburg and Max Scherzer into his office following the Nationals' 8-5 loss to the Braves on Friday night, after the two got into a heated argument in the dugout when Strasburg was removed in the fifth inning of his first start since being activated off the disabled list.

No one would share what was said in the dugout or the office or even what caused the argument, which Martinez chalked up to two competitive players. He also said the 15-minute meeting in his office at Nationals Park was productive.

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"This stuff happens," Martinez said. "I've been on teams where guys wanted to choke each other. It's a long season. They get it. They understand. We talk about it. I don't want to lose sleep about it. It was a really good conversation. I'll just leave it at that. Things are good."

Video: ATL@WSH: Martinez on Strasburg, loss to Braves

After Strasburg returned to the dugout after being pulled with two outs in the fifth with the Nats trailing, 6-2, Scherzer was waiting for him in the dugout and patted him on the back. Strasburg sat on the bench behind him and the two began an animated exchange that appeared to grow testy. After a few moments, Strasburg stood up and stormed down the steps toward the clubhouse, and Scherzer followed.

Scherzer was not available to reporters after the game. Strasburg declined to give any insight into the situation.

"It's part of family," Strasburg said. "You got to be in the family."

Perhaps it was frustration with his performance, as Strasburg gave up six runs on eight hits. Or maybe frustration is beginning to boil over for the Nationals, who fell below .500 with Friday's loss in what is a crucial three-game series with the Braves. Atlanta is now six games ahead of Washington.

"The way I look at it, they want to take ownership," Martinez said. "I gather that's what it was about. They sat there and there's two guys that are very competitive, and they got heated up and that was it. Tomorrow, they'll be hugging probably and laughing and joking and we'll move on."

Jamal Collier has covered the Nationals for MLB.com since 2016. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.

Washington Nationals, Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg