Nationals Vs. Red Sox Recap: Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper Dominant in Series-Opening Win

The Washington Nationals opened their weekend interleague series against the Red Sox with a 7-4 win on Friday night. The Nats' lineup ripped Boston starter Felix Doubront and Stephen Strasburg settled in to mow down the Red Sox. Strasburg went six innings and struck out 13 batters -- the second time he's done that in a month and one shy of his career record. After getting a four-run cushion, Strasburg absolutely breezed through Bobby Valentine's lineup with a stretch that included seven Ks out of eight batters faced.

On offense, it was the first two hitters in the Washington lineup who played key roles in back-to-back three-run innings off Doubront. Bryce Harper was a triple shy of the cycle, and his night included an absolute bomb of a home run to the triangle in right-center. The ball landed in the stands just to the right of the 420-foot sign on the wall. Harper added a third RBI in the sixth inning, putting the Nats seventh and final run on the board with a single to left that scored Tyler Moore. In addition to Harper, Danny Espinosa had a big night with doubles at the heart of each of the two Nats' rallies.

Things got a littler interesting late with Brad Lidge on the mound, but Tyler Clippard came on to slam the door in what became a save situation. Washington will try to take the series on Saturday with Gio Gonzalez on the mound. Daisuke Matsuzaka will make his first start of the season for Boston.

For more Nationals coverage and conversation, visit Federal Baseball, SB Nation's Nats blog. For the Red Sox perspective, check out Over The Monster. Still not enough baseball for you? Head on over to SB Nation's MLB Hub Page, Baseball Nation, for all the latest news from all 30 MLB teams.

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