Prince Fielder and Casey McGehee homered, and the Milwaukee Brewers crashed the Stephen Strasburg party and broke a four-game losing streak Friday night with a 7-3 victory over the Washington Nationals.
Washington is 0-4 since making Monday night’s deadline to sign No. 1 overall pick Strasburg, and even the midweek promotion of Mike Rizzo to general manager failed to generate enough good vibes to make a difference on the field.
Strasburg was ubiquitous Friday in his first visit to Nationals Park. He held two news conferences. One took place in front of a few hundred fans on a platform near third base five hours before the first pitch, with fireworks exploding above the stadium just before he spoke. He was interviewed live between innings during the game, his image unmissable on the giant outfield scoreboard, and again during the local television broadcast.
The Nationals sold 7,700 tickets for $1 to mark the occasion, accounting for the above-average gate of 26,307.
One thing the 100-mph-throwing right-hander from San Diego State couldn’t control was the weather: The heat index was 100 degrees during his on-field news conference, and the game was delayed 20 minutes by rain in the eighth inning.
And, for the Nationals’ sake, it was too bad he’s not yet ready to pitch. Rookie J.D. Martin (2-3) allowed a two-run home run to Fielder in the first and a solo shot by McGehee in the fourth. Fielder’s line drive to center field was his 33rd homer and gave him a majors-leading 110 RBIs.
Felipe Lopez added a two-out RBI single in the seventh, and the Brewers piled on three more runs in the ninth off reliever Jorge Sosa.
Looper settled down after giving up two runs in the first, including a no-doubt-about-it blast by Adam Dunn down the right-field line, Dunn’s 32nd homer.
Todd Coffey tossed a pair of scoreless innings in relief for the Brewers, and Trevor Hoffman allowed Ryan Zimmerman’s career-high 25th home run in the ninth in a non-save situation.
Notes: INF Mike Morse, whose contract was purchased Monday from Triple-A Syracuse, made his Nationals debut. He lined out to first as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning. … The Brewers placed RHP Jesus Colome on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right forearm. The move is retroactive to Aug. 18. The club purchased the contract of LHP Chris Narveson from Triple-A Nashville. … Milwaukee RHP Dave Bush, on the DL with a triceps injury, will make a rehab start at Double-A Huntsville on Saturday. … The Nationals fell to 17-18 under interim manager Jim Riggleman.