- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 2, 2016

PHOENIX (AP) - Arizona chief baseball officer Tony La Russa wants to see his struggling Diamondbacks play hard, with players not resigning themselves to lesser effort despite a losing season.

Instead, Arizona was thumped for a second straight night Monday, falling 14-1 to the Washington Nationals.

That came a day after a 14-3 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Anthony Rendon drove in three runs, Daniel Murphy went 3 for 3 and Stephen Strasburg got his major league-leading 15th win for the Nationals, leaving the Diamondbacks to try to explain what happened.

“We were beat pretty much from the first pitch,” Diamondbacks manager Chip Hale said. “I thought we scored the run in the first and kind of gave us a little life, and they went right back out and scored a couple.”

Arizona made a couple of deals before Monday’s non-waiver trade deadline, but nothing on the final day although contending teams expressed “some” to “a lot” of interest in young pitchers, according to La Russa.

“The problem was that everyone they were interested in were guys we wanted to keep,” La Russa said. “There wasn’t anything that was close to making sense based on how we evaluate our club.”

La Russa said over the rest of the season, he’d like to see how the players respond to the adversity of a losing record. Arizona is 43-63 after Monday’s loss.

“To me, the most pressing issue is the spirit and the toughness not to give into our record,” he said.

The Nationals scored six runs in the first two innings off Arizona’s Archie Bradley, which was more than enough for Strasburg.

Strasburg (15-1) allowed a run and three hits in six innings, striking out six and walking two. He also had three hits and an RBI.

Murphy raised his NL-leading batting average to .355 before exiting the game in the top of the fifth inning after he doubled in a run. Murphy was back in the Nationals’ starting lineup for the first time since last Friday, when he left due to hamstring tightness.

Rendon had two hits and is batting .333 with 12 RBIs and four doubles since July 16. Wilson Ramos also had three hits and two RBIs, and Bryce Harper scored three runs.

Bradley (4-7) was roughed up for eight runs and 12 hits in 3 1/3 innings, his shortest outing of the season.

The Nationals jumped on Bradley in the first inning, loading the bases with a one-out infield single by Jayson Werth and walks to Harper and Murphy. Rendon followed with a sacrifice fly, and Ramos, Clint Robinson and Danny Espinosa had RBI singles to make it 4-0.

“That was just a head-scratcher,” Bradley said. “You really toss that one out the window and move on. It was one of those outings you can get too deep and overthink it in what went wrong and why, and then just end up losing your mind.”

The Diamondbacks’ run came in the bottom of the inning. Jean Segura led off with a double, moved to third on a sacrifice and scored on Paul Goldschmidt’s grounder.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Diamondbacks: RHP Zack Greinke will pitch for Triple-A Reno in Salt Lake City on Wednesday as he continues to move toward a return from a left oblique strain. … OF Socrates Brito (fractured right toe) is playing in rehab games in the minors. … P Rubby De La Rosa (right elbow inflammation) is scheduled to throw on Tuesday.

UP NEXT

Nationals: RHP Tanner Roark (10-6, 2.96 ERA) is scheduled for his 22nd start of the season Tuesday.

Diamondbacks: LHP Robbie Ray (5-10) is coming off a career-high 11-strikeout performance in his last start July 28. A former 12th-round pick of the Nationals, he faces them for the first time in his career.

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