Obama ventured from the White House for some Friday night baseball as the White Sox took on the Washington Nationals and their new star pitcher, Stephen Strasburg, a national sensation.
The president, daughters Sasha and Malia, and brother-in-law Conrad Ng arrived at the stadium with an entourage that included White House senior adviser David Axelrod, the Associated Press reported.
Flashbulbs began popping along the third base side as fans realized the president there.
"I'd heard rumors, and with all those people taking pictures of the box, I assumed it was him," Strasburg said after the game.
Wearing a white short-sleeved shirt and a White Sox cap, Obama sat in a private box a few levels up behind home plate. He was seen sipping a beer, laughing and pointing out to his daughters things happenings on the field. Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., also was spotted in the box.
The game was sold out and the evening was warm, sunny and pleasantly non-muggy for this time of year.
It was Obama's first Nats game since he threw out the first pitch at their home opener in April. He couldn't resist wearing his Sox cap for that game, either.
Strasburg gave up two hits and one run before he began mowing down the Sox. Juan Pierre was first up and singled. A bloop double by Omar Vizquel moved Pierre to third, and he scored when the next batter, Alex Rios, grounded out to first.
Strasburg struck out the next two batters and had 10 strikeouts in seven innings innings -- while surrendering no walks and only four hits -- but was still behind 1-0, potentially on the hook for his first Major League loss, having tossed 85 pitches, close to his presumed limit. Adam Dunn got him off that hook with an RBI double in the bottom of the seventh.
The game stayed 1-1 through nine innings, but the Sox pushed across the winning run in the 11th, giving the Nats' other rookie pitching sensation, Drew Storen, his first Major League loss.
Strasburg went 2-0 with 22 strikeouts in his first two starts and was named National League player of the week. His 32 strikeouts in his first three starts set a Major League record.
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