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Originally published Wednesday, June 9, 2010 at 10:56 AM

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Strasburg's debut sets MASN cable ratings record

Stephen Strasburg's smashing debut was a record-setter on television.

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON —

Stephen Strasburg's smashing debut was a record-setter on television.

Overnight ratings show the rookie's 14-strikeout performance earned the highest rating ever for the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network.

MASN said Wednesday that the Washington Nationals' 5-2 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates earned a 7.1 rating, which translates to more than 165,000 households in the Washington region.

The Nationals have struggled to draw television fans since the franchise moved to Washington in 2005. Games averaged a meager 8,000 households just two years ago - the fewest by far for any team in the majors.

MASN says Nationals ratings are up 66 percent so far this year.

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