No pine tar, just lots of Stephen Strasburg | Baseball Notebook
A night after a pine tar search ignited controversy in a Rays-Nationals game, Washington's Stephen Strasburg struck out 10 in seven innings in a 3-2 victory.
WASHINGTON — Before the first pitch, Stephen Strasburg saw plate umpire Jeff Nelson walk toward the mound and began preparing for a pine-tar search.
"I thought he was going to check my glove," Strasburg said.
As it turned out, the ump only wanted to see the ball, which had bounced in the dirt on the throw to second after Strasburg's final warm-up toss. The Washington Nationals ace was free to work his usual magic, which on Wednesday consisted of 10 strikeouts over seven innings in a 3-2 win over Tampa Bay,
"We kind of had a laugh on the bench," Washington manager Davey Johnson said. "When the umpire came out, Stras was getting ready to undress. ... He was ready to take everything off and have them search him."
Strasburg (9-1), whose fastball was clocked in the high 90s, won his sixth consecutive start.
Pitchers on both sides were on extra alert one night after Rays reliever Joel Peralta was ejected for having pine tar in his glove.
Widespread boos greeted Peralta when he entered Wednesday's game in the eighth. Peralta is likely to be suspended, but he remains eligible to pitch while MLB investigates.
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