WASHINGTON -- Stephen Strasburg pitched into the sixth inning in his return from the injured list, allowing just one hit as the Washington Nationals defeated the Baltimore Orioles 4-2 on Friday night.
Strasburg (1-1) started for the first time since April 13. He had been sidelined with right shoulder inflammation.
Anthony Santander's leadoff single in the second was the only hit allowed by Strasburg, who walked 4 and struck out 4 in 5 1/3 scoreless innings. He threw 72 pitches and picked up his first win in a regular season game since Sept. 26, 2019. Strasburg won two games in the 2019 World Series, including Game 6, to earn MVP honors.
"It's not where I want it to be, but it's a step in the right direction," Strasburg said. "Execution standpoint, there's definitely some room for improvement.
"It's still only May, I feel good coming out of the start, take what I can from it and get ready for the next one."
When Strasburg departed, the crowd of 14,369 at Nationals Park applauded heartily. It was the first game played with an increased capacity of 36%. Full capacity will be permitted on June 10.
"I think not having it for so long, you take it for granted," Strasburg said of the fans. "You really rely on that. You get the fans into the game, and it gives you that extra boost. The atmosphere changes so much, and we really appreciate it as players."
Baltimore has lost 11 of 13 since John Means threw a no-hitter on May 5.
Washington scored two runs against Jorge Lopez (1-5) in the fifth. Lopez, who has an ERA of 27.00 in the fifth inning got the first two outs of the inning, and then allowed four consecutive hits, including back-to-back doubles by Josh Bell and Kyle Schwarber and a run-scoring single by Josh Harrison.
Bell had three hits and drove in the Nationals' fourth run.
Freddy Galvis hit a two-run home run with two outs in the ninth against Brad Hand. Trey Mancini had two hits for the Orioles.
The Orioles have had just six hits in the last two games.
"It's a little bit challenging," Manager Brandon Hyde said. "We didn't score until the ninth."
RED SOX 11, PHILLIES 3 Rafael Devers and Danny Santana hit home runs to back Martin Perez, and Boston beat Philadelphia. Perez (2-2) allowed 3 runs and 5 hits, striking out 7 in 6 innings.
YANKEES 2, WHITE SOX 1 Gleyber Torres homered late and singled home the winning run in the ninth inning as New York -- moments after a turning a clutch triple play -- beat Chicago following one of the most overpowering displays of starting pitching in major league history. White Sox lefty Carlos Rodon and counterpart Jordan Montgomery combined for 24 strikeouts during the first game since 1900 in which both starters had at least 10 strikeouts while permitting no walks or runs, according to Stats. Chicago put two runners on to open the ninth against closer Aroldis Chapman. Rookie Andrew Vaughn hit a sharp grounder toward third, where Gio Urshela stepped on the bag and went around the horn to nip Vaughn and suddenly end the inning as first baseman Luke Voit make a long stretch.
TWINS 10, INDIANS 0 Max Kepler and rookie Alex Kirilloff drove in two runs apiece in Minnesota's nine-run fourth inning and the Twins defeated Cleveland.
TIGERS 7, ROYALS 5 Miguel Cabrera hit two home runs, including a grand slam in the seventh inning, to send Detroit over Kansas City. Cabrera finished 3 for 5 with 5 RBI.
RAYS 9, BLUE JAYS 7 (12) Francisco Mejia hit a grand slam in the 12th inning and Tampa Bay won its eighth consecutive game by beating Toronto.
CUBS 12, CARDINALS 3 Joc Pederson, Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and David Bote each drove in two runs and Chicago scored eight runs in the eighth inning in a victory over St. Louis.
BRAVES 20, PIRATES 1 Ronald Acuna Jr. hit a grand slam in the second inning off Tyler Anderson, pinch-hitter Ehire Adrianza added another slam in the eighth against position player Wilmer Difo and Atlanta homered seven times in a rout of Pittsburgh. Austin Riley homered twice for his first multihomer game, and Ozzie Albies, Marcell Ozuna and Dansby Swanson also went deep for the Braves, who became the first team in major league history to have seven or more home runs in a game that included two slams, according to STATS.
REDS 9, BREWERS 4 Jesse Winker hit three home runs while going 4 for 4, leading Cincinnati over Milwaukee. Tyler Naquin added a three-run home run as the Reds bounced back from being swept in a four-game series by San Francisco.
ROCKIES 7, DIAMONDBACKS 1 Ryan McMahon hit two home runs to lead Colorado over Arizona. Winning pitcher German Marquez struck out 8 and allowed 4 hits and 3 walks in 7 innings.
METS 6, MARLINS 5 (12) Rookie Khalil Lee hit a tiebreaking RBI double in the 12th inning for his first major-league hit after strikeouts in his first eight at-bats — a major-league record — and New York beat Miami despite totaling only eight hits against 10 Marlins pitchers.
Atlanta 20, Pittsburgh 1
Cincinnati 9, Milwaukee 4
Colorado 7, Arizona 1
Chicago Cubs 12, St. Louis 3
NY Mets 6, Miami 5 (12)
LA Dodgers 2, San Francisco 1
NY Yankees 2, Chicago White Sox 1
Minnesota 10, Cleveland 0
Detroit 7, Kansas City 5
Tampa Bay 9, Toronto 7 (12)
Texas 7, Houston 5 (10)
Oakland at LA Angels, (n)
Washington 4, Baltimore 2
Boston 11, Philadelphia 2
Seattle at San Diego, (n)