PHOENIX (AP) — Bronson Arroyo got the best of Stephen Strasburg — on the mound and at the plate.
Arroyo, with a fastball that barely reaches 88 mph, scattered seven hits in his 16th career complete game, leading the Arizona Diamondbacks to a 3-1 victory over the Washington Nationals Tuesday night.
“That’s the great thing about baseball,” Arroyo said. “I don’t really have to beat Stephen, I just have to beat their batters for the most part.”
He also had a pair of hits off Strasburg, scoring the go-ahead run after the second one.
“I just try to outthink him and try to guess what he’s throwing,” Arroyo said. “… I got lucky today. I hit two balls soft, but one of them turned out to be a huge hit and started off an inning that won us the ball game.”
Arroyo, a free agent signing in the offseason who was slowed by a sore back in spring training, struck out seven and walked one. Of his 110 pitches, 79 were strikes.
“An incredible strike ratio,” Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said. “He kept them off-balance, threw a great game for us. Beyond that, got a couple of hits, ran the bases well again, fielded a good safety squeeze bunt, held the guy at first, got out of that inning. I mean, that’s complete.”
Paul Goldschmidt doubled twice, the second one driving in the go-ahead runs in the fifth.
Over his last three starts, Arroyo (4-2) has allowed one earned run in 23 1-3 innings. He also became the second pitcher to get two hits off Strasburg. The other was Tim Hudson.
Strasburg (3-3) went seven innings, allowing three runs on eight hits, striking out six with no walks.
“Overall I thought he itched fine,” Nationals manager Matt Williams said. “Bronson was better tonight though. All over the zone with all the pitches that he had, he kept everybody off balance.”
The Diamondbacks won for just the fourth time in 17 games at Chase Field this season.
“You just want to get it done at home to show there’s not some sort of jinx going on,” Arroyo said.
Washington scored first when Wilson Ramos led off the second with a single and Ian Desmond tripled. Desmond was stranded when Danny Espinosa struck out, Tyler Moore walked and Kevin Frandsen grounded into a double play.
Arizona tied it at 1 in the fourth. Goldschmidt led off with a double down the right-field line, then scored when Miguel Montero singled sharply.
In the fifth, Arroyo led off with his second single of the night. Martin Prado — 4 for 20 in his career against Strasburg to that point — singled up the middle to put runners on first and second, and Goldschmidt drove in both runners with a soaring double to deep center. It was the major league-leading 55th hit for Goldschmidt.
“Curveball,” Strasburg said. “It started getting a little windy and dry and spun out of my hands. As soon as it came out of my hand I knew it was probably not going to be good.”
Washington — without top hitters Bryce Harper, Ryan Zimmerman and Adam LaRoche — didn’t threaten again until the eighth. Pinch-hitter Nate McLouth singled past the first baseman Goldschmidt, a play that could have been ruled an error, then Anthony Rendon’s two-out single put runners at first and second. Jayson Werth flied out to left to end the inning.
After getting game-tying and winning ninth-inning homers off Addison Reed in the ninth in their 6-5 win in the series opener Monday night, the Nationals didn’t get a runner on base in the final inning against Arroyo.
NOTES: Washington is 1-4 with one game left on its trip out West. … Arizona’s other home wins were April 1 over San Francisco, April 25 over Philadelphia and April 30 over Colorado. … In the series finale on Wednesday, Washington starts Doug Fister (0-1, 10.38) against Brandon McCarthy (1-6, 5.66). … If Arizona wins Wednesday, it would be the first series victory for the Diamondbacks at home this season.
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