On paper, it appeared to be a mismatch.
Strasburg was 2-0 with a 1.86 ERA, having lived up to the hype that's followed his ascension to The Show. Kansas City had lost five games in a row.
But none of that mattered, as the Royals got nine hits off Strasburg en route to a 1-0 win at Nationals Park.
Jose Guillen's RBI single off Strasburg in the fifth inning proved to be the difference, as the Royals (30-43) won for the first time since June 15 in Houston.
"We put some great at-bats on Strasburg, we really did," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "We hit some balls soft, but we found holes. When you put the ball in play, good things happen.
"We won it on good pitching, great defense and some timely hitting."
Brian Bannister (7-5) earned the win after allowing only five hits and no runs in six innings. His strong outing was complemented well by the Royals' hitters, who's prowess at the plate handed Strasburg (2-1) his first career loss.
Strasburg gave up only one run but surrendered nine hits in six innings.
Outside of the first inning, Kansas City mustered at least one hit in every inning Strasburg was on the mound. In five of his six innings, the Royals had runners in scoring position.
|"With his breaking ball and his changeup, that kid has a chance to dominate."|
-- Royals manager Ned Yost,|
on Stephen Strasburg
David DeJesus hit a single to left field. Billy Butler then hit a single to shallow right field, moving DeJesus from first base to third. Guillen followed with a single to right field to bring home DeJesus and give the Royals the lead.
"[I] tried to elevate the ball instead of just trusting it and throwing it to [Pudge Rodriguez's] glove," Strasburg said. "I kind of pushed it a little bit, and it ended up causing me to do the opposite. It wasn't a bad pitch, but he was on it."
Butler struck out his first two at-bats, but he came through in the fifth with the key single. He said he made adjustments during the game to counter what Strasburg was throwing, and it paid off.
"I definitely felt when I went up for my third time, I was more comfortable," Butler said. "It was a curveball that I hit. I was looking fastball, but I got it over the plate and got it through the hole. He made a good pitch, but I kept battling him."
The Royals came away very impressed with what the rookie had to offer.
Guillen, who extended his career-best hitting streak to 18 games, said Strasburg lived up to the hype.
"His fastball, his slider, his changeup -- every pitch is unbelievable," Guillen said. "He's really special. Now I realize everything the people have been talking about him."
Yost said Strasburg's command is what sets him apart from other pitchers.
"[Nationals right-hander] Livan Hernandez showed us what you can do if you command an 83-mph fastball," Yost said. "You can compete. Now if you can control a 97-98-mph fastball, you dominate. With his breaking ball and his changeup, that kid has a chance to dominate."
Greg Rosenstein is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less