For weeks, the impending shutdown of Strasburg (15-5) has been the talk of baseball and though the Nationals haven't said exactly what their limit for the star right-hander is, it's thought to be between 160 and 180 innings. After this start, his fourth straight win, when he allowed four hits and walked one, he has thrown 145 1-3 innings.
Talk of his innings limit overshadowed discussion of the NL East race. Washington's win gave the Nationals a seven-game lead over second-place Atlanta, their largest of the season.
Ian Desmond and Jesus Flores homered for Washington. Tyler Clippard pitched the ninth for his 28th save in 32 opportunities.
Paul Maholm (11-8) allowed four runs and seven hits in seven innings for the Braves, who have lost four straight.
REDS 5, PHILLIES 4
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Zack Cozart hit a tiebreaking homer on Jonathan Papelbon's first pitch in the ninth, and Cincinnati snapped a seven-game losing streak against Philadelphia.
Kevin Frandsen hit a tying RBI triple off Jonathan Broxton in the eighth, but the NL Central-leading Reds went up to stay on Cozart's shot off Papelbon (3-5).
Cliff Lee took a shutout into the seventh before allowing three runs to remain winless at home this season.
The Reds took a 4-3 lead when Todd Frazier connected off Antonio Bastardo with two outs in the eighth for his 18th homer. The Phillies answered against Broxton (2-1). Domonic Brown hit a two-out single, and Frandsen tripled down the right-field line.
Reds starter Homer Bailey gave up three runs and seven hits in 6 1-3 innings. Aroldis Chapman finished for his 30th save in 34 tries.
CARDINALS 7, ASTROS 0
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Adam Wainwright matched his career high with 12 strikeouts in a five-hitter and the Cardinals bounced back from Sunday's 19-inning loss.
Skip Schumaker and Yadier Molina had two RBIs apiece for St. Louis, which led 6-0 after three innings against rookie Lucas Harrell.
Wainwright (12-10) threw his second shutout and third complete game of the season.
The Astros have been outscored 15-1 in two games under interim manager Tony DeFrancesco, who held a team meeting prior to the game. Houston is just 7-41 since June 28.
Harrell (10-9) allowed six runs and eight hits in five innings.
The day after their 6-3, 19-inning loss to the Pirates — the longest game in the majors this season — manager Mike Matheny led a delegation to help rebuild tornado-ravaged Joplin, Mo., and other Cardinals played charity golf.
BREWERS 5, CUBS 2
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Marco Estrada allowed two hits in six solid innings to win for the first time in almost a year, leading the Brewers to the victory.
Estrada (1-5) retired 18 of 21 batters before turning over a 1-0 lead to Kameron Loe to start the seventh. It was his first victory since Aug. 23, 2011, at Pittsburgh.
The Cubs managed two runs in the ninth before John Axford got Wellington Castillo to ground out to second for his 19th save.
Estrada had been denied a win four times earlier in the season when the bullpen blew a save opportunity.
Cubs pitcher Chris Rusin (0-1) allowed one run and one hit over five innings in his major league debut. He also tripled in the third for his first career hit.
ROCKIES 6, METS 2
NEW YORK (AP) — Jhoulys Chacin made an impressive return from an extended absence and the Rockies backed him with a pair of sharp defensive plays.
Chacin (1-3) had not pitched in the majors since May 1 because of inflammation in his right shoulder. He came off the disabled list earlier in the day and held the Mets to one run and four hits in six innings, ending his seven-game losing streak that began last September.
Chris Young (3-7) retired the first 15 Colorado batters, but his throwing error on a sacrifice by Chacin helped the Rockies score four times in the sixth.
Centre fielder Dexter Fowler made a sparkling catch and hit a pair of RBI singles as the Rockies won their third in a row. The Mets lost their third straight, giving away another run on a botched rundown.
GIANTS 4, DODGERS 1
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Tim Lincecum bounced back from consecutive home losses with his third straight road win and the San Francisco Giants defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-1 on Tuesday night, increasing their NL West lead to 1 1/2 games over their division rival.
The two-time NL Cy Young winner allowed one run and five hits in 5 2/3 innings after failing to pitch past the fourth inning in his last start, a loss to Washington last week.
Lincecum (7-13) struck out four and walked one while the Giants provided him slightly more than his average of 3.91 runs of support.
Dodgers starter Joe Blanton (8-12) gave up four runs and 10 hits in 5 2/3 innings, struck out six and walked two to fall to 0-3 in four starts with the Dodgers since being acquired from Philadelphia on Aug. 4.
A night after Madison Bumgarner and Clayton Kershaw combined for 20 strikeouts and no walks in the series opener, Lincecum and Joe Blanton were less than scintillating in a matchup of pitchers with losing records.
But Lincecum got the job done to earn his first win at Dodger Stadium in five starts and didn't allow any of the big innings that have plagued him this season. Sergio Romo pitched the ninth to earn his sixth save in seven chances.
MARLINS 6, DIAMONDBACKS 5 (10 innings)
PHOENIX (AP) — Giancarlo Stanton hit a run-scoring single with two outs in the 10th inning and the Miami Marlins rallied from an early five-run deficit to beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 6-5 on Tuesday night.
Bryan Peterson hit a tying single in the sixth inning after Miami fell behind 5-0 in the first.
Gorkys Hernandez beat out an infield single to shortstop off Sam Demel (0-1), the Diamondbacks' sixth pitcher, and went to second on a sacrifice bunt. Demel intentionally walked Jose Reyes and retired Carlos Lee on a flyball to centre field before Stanton looped a clean single to left with the go-ahead run.
Chad Gaudin (2-1) struck out one and walked one in the bottom of the ninth for the win, his first since April 15 against Houston.
Steve Cishek put runners on first and second in the bottom of the 10th before retiring pinch-hitter John McDonald on a grounder to shortstop for his 10th save.
PADRES 7, PIRATES 5
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Chase Headley hit a two-run homer in the 10th inning to give the San Diego Padres a 7-5 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday night.
Headley's home run came off Daniel McCutchen (0-1) and gave San Diego its fourth straight win.
McCutchen issued a leadoff walk to Will Venable, who stole second before Headley hit his 21st homer. The home run was Headley's ninth this month with 26 RBIs, both major-league highs.
Venable and Cameron Maybin each tied their career high with four hits. It was the second time in three games that Maybin has equaled his mark.
Miles Mikolas (2-1) pitched one inning for the win.
Pittsburgh dropped 7 1/2 games behind first-place Cincinnati in the NL Central. The Pirates are one-half game ahead of Los Angeles and St. Louis for the second wild-card slot.