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WASHINGTON, D.C. - Stephen Strasburg (3-2) returned to the win column Friday night despite giving up a home run to the first batter of the game.

The Nationals cruised to an 8-1 victory over visiting San Francisco in front of 34,723 fans, nearly double the previous attendance the night before at Nats Park.

See what happens when the bats come out and Strasburg starts? They win. I said from day 1, if the Nats provide run support of four or five every time he steps on the hill, they will not lose.

Last night proved that as the No. 1 pick in last year's draft was the right choice. Also, Adam Dunn continued his dominant week with a pair of long balls, the only two the Nats hit last night. He is up to 22 on the season.

They aren't out of the N.L. East yet, but the bats must continue to come alive, because the pitching is in place for a magical ride if they can handle it.

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