By Rich Dubroff
CSNwashington.comDavey Johnson didnt think twice about starting Stephen Strasburg on Saturday. After a Friday rainout, Strasburg could have been pushed back a day. Maybe that would preserve Strasburg for later in the season, it was suggested.That has been brought to me, Johnson said.I guess you could call me old school or whatever. I believe in putting my best foot forward whenever I can.Strasburg is operating on an innings limit, though no one has said what it was.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Tanner Roark threw seven impressive innings, Jayson Werth hit a solo homer and the Washington Nationals beat the Philadelphia Phillies 4-0 on Monday night.
Roark (14-7) allowed four singles and struck out five. Marc Rzepczynski tossed a perfect eighth and Mark Melancon finished off the four-hitter.
Phillies rookie Jake Thompson (1-4) allowed two runs and seven hits in seven innings. It was the longest and best of his five career starts.
Werth lined a solo shot to left in the first against his former team. A member of Philadelphia's 2008 World Series championship team, Werth was greeted by boos, as usual.
Bryce Harper raced home from first on Anthony Rendon's single to left-center to make it 2-0 in the first. Clint Robinson and Trea Turner had RBI singles off Frank Herrmann in the ninth.
Thompson settled in nicely after a rough start. His last pitch was a nasty curve that froze Turner for strike three.
Roark didn't need much support. The righty stifled the Phillies again. He's 3-0 with a 0.64 ERA against them this season.
The NL East-leading Nationals snapped a two-game losing streak.
RELATED: NATS MAKE TWO ROSTER MOVES
Nats (75-55) at Phillies (60-70) at Citizens Bank Park
Having lost six of their last eight, the Nats now hit the road to face the Phillies for three games. This could be a good opportunity to collect some wins against a lesser team, as the Nats swept each of their last two head-to-head series.
Also working in the Nats' favor is that Tanner Roark is on the mound. Roark is 13-7 with a 2.99 ERA and is very good at going deep into games, having pitched at least seven innings in 15 of his 25 starts.
Ryan Zimmerman gets the day off as manager Dusty Baker looks to get him some rest. Clint Robinson is instead playing first base.
First pitch: 7:05 p.m.
Radio: 106.7 The Fan
Starting pitchers: Nats - Tanner Roark vs. Phillies - Jake Thompson
CF Trea Turner
LF Jayson Werth
2B Daniel Murphy
RF Bryce Harper
3B Anthony Rendon
C Wilson Ramos
1B Clint Robinson
SS Danny Espinosa
RHP Tanner Roark
RHP Jake Thompson
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The Nationals have optioned pitcher Lucas Giolito to AAA Syracuse and recalled outfielder Michael A. Taylor, the team announced Monday.
Giolito will return to the minors after starting Sunday in Washington's 5-3 loss to Colorado. He pitched a career-high five innings, allowing four runs on six hits (two HRs) and four walks.
As Nationals Insider Chase Hughes noted, the rookie pitcher's velocity hasn't lived up to expectations.
His fastball is supposed to sit comfortably in the high-90s and occasionally touch triple digits ... On Sunday against the Colorado Rockies, Giolito sat consistently around 93 miles per hour. That's not bad at all, but it's a far cry from the prodigious speed he used to have.
Taylor, meanwhile, last played for the Nationals on July 24 against the Padres. He went 0-4 at the plate in the 10-6 loss.
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