Strasburg hopes to find win column vs. Red Sox

( – Stephen Strasburg takes aim at his first win of the
season on Tuesday when the Washington Nationals resume a three-game set with
the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park.

Strasburg was the victim of some poor defense his first time out on Thursday
against the New York Mets, but still allowed six runs (3 earned) and nine hits
in 5 1/3 innings. He also struck out five and walked three to get the loss.

He won his only other start against the Red Sox.

Boston, meanwhile, will turn to sinkerballer Justin Masterson, who had a
successful return to the Red Sox, both on the mound and at the plate. The
righty gave up two runs in six innings on Thursday versus Philadelphia, but
helped himself out with two hits and an RBI.

“When he’s right, he puts the ball on the ground, and he was able to do that
here again tonight and helped his own cause with a couple of base hits, but it
was a solid six innings,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell.

Boston won its home opener on Monday, as Mookie Betts put on a show in the Red
Sox’s 9-4 win. Betts made a home run-robbing catch, stole two bases and hit a
three-run blast — all in the first two innings — to spark Boston.

David Ortiz had a solo home run and Sandy Leon went 3-for-4 with an RBI for
the Red Sox, who have won five of seven to start the season.

Rick Porcello (1-1) held Washington to four runs (3 earned), four hits and
struck out six in eight innings to pick up his first win with the Red Sox.

Ryan Zimmerman and Danny Espinosa both homered, with Espinosa driving in two
runs, but the Nationals’ offense continued to sputter. Washington has yet to
score more than four runs in a game during its startling 2-5 start.

“It has to get better,” Nationals manager Matt Williams said. “It’s about as
bad as you can get.”

Jordan Zimmermann (1-1) pitched only 2 1/3 innings against the Red Sox. The
right-hander suffered his first loss since July 11 of last season after being
tagged for eight runs — seven earned — on nine hits and a walk.

These teams haven’t met since 2012 when the Nationals swept a three-game set
at Fenway.