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Strasburg gave those runs back in the second, allowing two walks and a single to open the frame, but that was the only trouble for the Nationals’ ace. Once Washington regained a two-run cushion, he didn’t allow another runner to second base. His day was done after six innings and 100 pitches, four hits, four walks, seven strikeouts and the two earned runs.

The Nationals smiled and enjoyed win No. 73, looking forward to savoring it on their long ride home, even if they wouldn’t fully say just how much it meant.

“We’re playing good, and we’re feeling good, but baseball’s a funny game,” Clippard said. “We don’t want to take anything for granted, but this was definitely an important road trip for us.”