- Associated Press - Saturday, June 3, 2017

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Even without Bryce Harper, the Washington Nationals just keep on winning.

Daniel Murphy and Brian Goodwin each had four hits, including a home run, and Stephen Strasburg pitched seven strong innings as the Nationals beat the Oakland Athletics 13-3 on Friday night.

Murphy was 4 for 5 with two RBIs including his 10th home run. He’s 10 for 18 with three extra-base hits and five RBIs over his last four games since missing three games last weekend with an illness.

“I think tonight we were able to put sustained pressure on the opposing pitcher,” Murphy said. “Anytime you get traffic on the base paths, I’ve said it before, it opens up holes.”

Washington finished with 20 hits wihle winning its fourth straight and ninth in the last 11 games.

Goodwin played right field in place of Harper, who was serving the third of his four-game suspension for his role in Monday’s brawl with the San Francisco Giants. His home run was his first in the majors and the four hits were a career high.

“We’ve got a very formidable bench as well as lineup,” Nationals manager Dusty Baker said. “They don’t have to feel like one man has to do it all the time. Anybody up and down that lineup can hurt you.”

Oakland lost for the sixth time in seven games.

Strasburg (7-1) struck out seven and allowed two runs, four hits and three walks.

Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon was 2 for 5 with a home run, a double and three RBIs.

The Nationals broke a 2-2 tie in a decisive four-run fourth inning rally in which they sent 10 batters to the plate, five of whom reached safely with two outs.

Murphy and Michael Taylor hit solo home runs off A’s starter Andrew Triggs (5-5) to give the Nationals a 2-0 lead.

Matt Joyce hit a two-run home run off a 94 mph fastball Strasburg left over heart of the plate in the bottom of the third.

“It’s a really good team,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “It’s a tough team for a starting pitcher. It grinds on you.”

MILESTONE

Baker got his 1,800th victory, second among active managers behind San Francisco’s Bruce Bochy (1,813).

“Congratulations to him,” Melvin said. “I know Dusty real well. Back when he was actually a hitting coach for the Giants when I was there. We’ve been close ever since. Eighteen-hundred wins is a lot of wins so congratulations to him.”

FRANCHISE FIRST

The win was Washington’s first in franchise history against the A’s in Oakland going back to when they were the Montreal Expos. The franchise is 4-6 against the A’s and 1-6 at Oakland.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Nationals: OF Chris Heisey suffered a setback rehabbing from a ruptured biceps at Double-A Harrisburg, the degree to which wasn’t yet clear, Baker said. Heisey joined the team in Oakland on Friday.

Athletics: SS Marcus Semien, out since April 15 with a right wrist fracture, took dry swings with a fungo bat earlier this week and threw from 75 feet on Friday. … RHP Jessie Hahn (right triceps strain) threw 75 pitches in a rehab start for Class A Stockton on Wednesday. Hahn reported no soreness but Melvin said the A’s are concerned about a dip in his velocity. … LHP Sean Doolittle (left shoulder strain) pitched a scoreless inning for Class A Stockton in a rehab assignment. He’ll pitch at least once more in the minors before returning to the A’s bullpen, Melvin said.

UP NEXT

RHP Joe Ross (2-1, 6.18 ERA) has given up five earned runs in three of his last four starts for Washington. RHP Daniel Mengden (0-1, 13.50) gave up five runs in 3 1/3 innings for the A’s in his first 2017 start. He is 0-7 in eight career home starts in Oakland.

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More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball


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