ST. LOUIS -- Stephen Strasburg struck out nine including seven of eight in one stretch and the Washington Nationals got home runs from Michael Taylor and Danny Espinosa in a 5-4 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday night.
Taylor's second leadoff homer of the year ended a 22-inning scoreless drought for the Nationals. Espinosa's first of the season was a two-run shot that capped a four-run fourth against Mike Leake (0-3).
Strasburg (4-0) gave up two runs on eight hits in seven innings with one walk. He has 29 strikeouts in 22 1/3 innings his last three outings. Jonathan Papelbon earned his eighth save in nine chances for Washington, which is 5-0 in Strasburg's starts.
Leake, who got a five-year, $80 million free agent deal, gave up five runs in seven innings and has a 5.83 ERA.
Nationals: C Wilson Ramos (bereavement list) could return this weekend after leaving following the death of his grandfather. Manager Dusty Baker said the team would be patient, adding "death has no season."
Cardinals: OF Tommy Pham (side) could begin a rehab assignment next week. 2B Kolten Wong (flu) is ready but manager Mike Matheny went with the hot hand in Jedd Gyorko. Jhonny Peralta (thumb) will be re-evaluated in 10 days and GM John Mozeliak envisioned a rehab starting on or about May 21. RHP Mitch Harris (shoulder) will get a second opinion on Monday.
IN THE CLUB
Former ace Chris Carpenter and former player and manager Joe Torre were the top two vote-getters in online balloting for the third induction class to the Cardinals Hall of Fame. Outfielder Terry Moore, who played alongside Hall of Famer Stan Musial, and Sam Breadon, president and majority owner from 1920-47, also are in the four-man class that'll be inducted Aug. 27.