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“Any time you can get it right to contact and get them to hit it right to guys, especially on a hot day, you can’t complain about that,” Storen said. “You knew you just had to attack guys in the zone. You sink it down in the zone. Hopefully those guys hit it on the ground and let our defense take care of it.”

Storen had no problems with Johnson’s message and he doesn’t disagree.

“I thought he had a good point,” Storen said. “I’m trying to pitch around guys. I have good enough stuff. I just need to attack hitters and we have a great defense behind you. There’s no reason to be pitching around anybody.”

Before the two bad outings, Storen had been pretty strong. He hadn’t given up a run in 14 of 16 appearances going back to mid-May. The two bad ones, he said, didn’t ruin his season. The strong one Saturday, though, helps reinforce his belief in himself, helps him get back where he wants to be.

“Obviously you want to get out there in a big spot,” Storen said. “If you know anything about pitching in the bullpen, you can’t get two bad outings get to you. Especially when you’re on a streak like I had before. Just learn from them, move on and get out there again.”

With the victory, the Nationals moved to three games over the .500 mark for the first time since May 18. The Nats have won three in a row and five of their past seven.