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Hitting lowlight: Three batters into this game, the Nationals looked like they might have something cooking against Sanchez. Bryce Harper's leadoff triple and Ryan Zimmerman's RBI single gave them an early 1-0 lead. But they were woefully inept after that, managing only two hits off Sanchez after the first inning. Their only real hope for another rally came in the sixth, when Adam LaRoche doubled and Ian Desmond drew a two-out walk and then stole second to put two men in scoring position. But Denard Span grounded out to second base, and that quashed the Nationals' last hope to bring another runner home. Thus, Sanchez's lifetime mastery of this franchise continued. The right-hander is now 9-1 with a 1.98 ERA in 21 career starts against the Nats.
Pitching lowlight: For five innings, Strasburg was at his very best. Facing perhaps the toughest lineup he'll go up against all season, he held the Tigers to one run, needing only 59 pitches to record 15 outs. But he put himself in a jam in the sixth, and he paid the price for it. Prince Fielder's one-out single (the third time he reached base) got things started, then Victor Martinez added a double just past a diving Adam LaRoche. When Jhonny Peralta walked, Strasburg faced a one-out, bases-loaded jam. He nearly escaped it, striking out Andy Dirks on a wicked 3-2 curveball. But he fell behind in the count to Avila and then left a fastball down and in to the Tigers catcher. Avila crushed it to the bleachers, and that one grand slam determined the entire ballgame. Incredibly, it was the first time Strasburg had given up a home run with more than one man on base in his big-league career.
Key stat: The Nationals are now 0-4 all-time at Comerica Park.
Up next: Hope nobody got too comfortable here in Detroit, because the Nats are already packing up and heading out of town. They'll wrap up this oh-so-brief series at 1:08 p.m. Wednesday when Gio Gonzalez faces Justin Verlander in a star-studded matchup.