MLB.com Columnist

Bill Ladson

Nats hit Tanaka hard as Stras dominates Yanks

Nats hit Tanaka hard as Stras dominates Yanks

VIERA, Fla. -- Stephen Strasburg was lights-out on Wednesday night as the Nationals pounded the Yankees, 13-0, at Space Coast Stadium.

Strasburg, who is expected to pitch the home opener against the Marlins on April 7, dominated New York, pitching five shutout innings while allowing six hits and striking out nine. The only time Strasburg was in trouble was in the third inning. The Yankees had the bases loaded with no outs, but Strasburg managed to get out of the jam. He struck out Aaron Hicks and then got Dustin Ackley to ground into a double play.

The Nationals gave Strasburg everything he needed by scoring seven runs through three innings off right-hander Masahiro Tanaka. In the first, Anthony Rendon's RBI double brought home Ben Revere for the game's first run.

Strasburg strikes out nine Yanks

"It appears that off-day [on Tuesday] came right on time," Nationals manager Dusty Baker said. "We seem fresh, we seem quicker, we seem rejuvenated, especially the guy that started the game. ... Strasburg got out of a tough jam, and that's what good pitchers do. His changeup was electric today."

Tanaka had an easy second inning, but he was hit hard an inning later as the Nationals scored six runs. Wilson Ramos highlighted the scoring with a two-run homer over the right-field wall. Tanaka ended up pitching four innings, allowing nine hits and striking out three.

Ramos' two-run homer

"Obviously, I gave up too [many] hits," Tanaka said. "That wasn't the results that I wanted. The positive I can take is to get these kind of outings out of the way in Spring Training and not bring that into the regular season."

The Nationals added six more runs in the eighth inning off right-hander Anthony Swarzak.

Up next for the Yankees: CC Sabathia will make his fourth Grapefruit League start as the Yankees host the Rays on Thursday at George M. Steinbrenner Field at 6:35 p.m. ET on Gameday Audio. Jacoby Ellsbury could return to the lineup for the first time since being hit on the right wrist with a pitch Saturday.

Up next for the Nationals: Washington is back at Space Coast Stadium to play the Cardinals at 1:05 p.m. ET on Thursday. Right-hander Max Scherzer, who is expected to be the Opening Day starter, will take the mound. Scherzer is expected to pitch six innings and throw 100 pitches.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.