Red Sox Live Blog: Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper Lead Nats to 7-4 Win over Sox

Red Sox Live Blog: Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper Lead Nats to 7-4 Win over Sox

Final, Nationals 7-4: Daniel Nava ripped a double off the Green Monster to tack on a run, but it was a mere dent in the grand scheme of things.

Stephen Strasburg lived up the billing in his Fenway Park debut, striking out 13 batters through six innings. Just imagine if he hadn't exhausted a good chunk of pitches in the second inning.

Bryce Harper was also dominate, collecting three RBIs. As a result, the Red Sox got a firsthand learning experience of what the future holds for Washington. And it's scary.

Mid 9th, Nationals 7-3: Bryce Harper entered the ninth inning just a triple short of the cycle.

Well, he grounded out and couldn't achieve the feat. Unless the Red Sox string together a miracle, Harper will finish 3-for-5 with three RBIs, raising his batting average to .288.

Oh yeah, and he's only 19.

End 8th, Nationals 7-3: Adrian Gonzalez absolutely crushed a solo shot to deep center field. This time around, Xavier Nady had no shot at robbing that.

But you really have to think that Gonzalez is in the zone. All three of his at-bats have resulted in strongly hit balls. Gonzalez really looks locked in at the plate.

Mid 8th, Nationals 7-2: Scott Atchison continued to hold down the fort in relief.

But anyway, this game really begs the question — who had the better Fenway debut: Bryce Harper or Stephen Strasburg? That's a pretty tight one.

Either way, this was a memorable one for each guy. 

End 7th, Nationals 7-2: Ross Detwiler replaced Stephen Strasburg to start the inning, but maintained that momentum.

Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine put in Darnell McDonald and Marlon Byrd to pinch hit for Sweeney and Podsednik.

As the Sox prepare to activate Daisuke Matsuzaka on Saturday, you wonder if this may be Byrd's last bit of playing time for the club.

Mid 7th, Nationals 7-2: Rich Hill allowed a double to Ryan Zimmerman and a few at-bats later was pulled.

Scott Atchison entered in his palce and did nicely in relief, getting Ian Desmond to fly out to end any more threats.

End 6th, Nationals 7-2: Kevin Youkilis was ejected from the game after arguing that strike call. 

That's his fourth career strikeout and Will Middlebrooks has entered for the veteran. But that better was likely Strasburg's last of the night.

He was phenomenal, racking up 13 strikeouts and handling business against the Red Sox.

Mid 6th, Nationals 7-2: Rich Hill was brought into the game to take care of Bryce Harper. It backfired just a little bit.

Harper lined an RBI single to left field, but got greedy and got nailed in a rundown. Still, Harper has been plenty impressive.

It's very rare that visiting players steal the show at Fenway. Well, it's happening here.

End 5th, Nationals 6-2: Stephen Strasburg is just feeling it right now, striking out seven of the last nine Red Sox batters that he's faced.

In this inning, he fanned Ryan Sweeney and Mike Aviles while Scott Podsednik grounded out to end the inning.

With Harper and Strasburg playing the way they are, the Nationals will be a force for a long time.

Mid 5th, Nationals 6-2: Matt Albers filled in pretty well in the fifth, getting a 1-2-3 inning.

But it was as a result of Doubront's worst start of the season. He allowed a season-high six runs and lasted just four innings.

He threw 82 pitches, 54 for strikes and racked up six strikeouts.

End 4th, Nationals 6-2: Strasburg leaned on his four-seamer and curveball and flummoxed the Red Sox' batters in that inning.

He struck out David Ortiz, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Kevin Youkilis in straight at-bats. That's an impressive feat for the 23-year-old.

With the inning over, Matt Albers has entered the game to replace Felix Doubront.

Mid 4th, Nationals 6-2: Bryce Harper homered to deep center and it appeared to hit the Jordan's Furniture sign.

That was a three-run shot and a mammoth one at that. Remember that he's only 19 years old, so he's really looking like the real deal.

On the flipside, it's surprising to see Felix Doubront struggle like this since he's been so consistent.

End 3rd, Nationals 3-2: Adrian Gonzalez is certainly starting to find his stride again, belting a ball that soared over the right field wall — except it was caught.

Xavier Nady made a spectacular grab to rob Gonzalez of a home run and also prevented himself from tumbling over the short porch.

Strasburg continued to rack up the strikeouts, fanning Nava and Pedroia yet again.

Mid 3rd, Nationals 3-2: Well, looks this isn't a pitcher's duel after all.

Doubront struggled to hit his spots and Bryce Harper and Ian Desmond doubled to start pouncing on the Red Sox pitcher.

Harper was able to find a gap and delivered during his at-bat. It was a job well done by the 19-year-old.

End 2nd, Red Sox 2-0: The Red Sox managed to punish Strasburg rather early.

After the pitcher walked David Ortiz, Ryan Sweeney collected a single and Mike Aviles blasted a double off the Green Monster that drove them in.

That double was just inches away from a homer. But it marked Aviles' 10th multi-RBI game of the season.

7:04 p.m.: For those on Daniel Bard watch in Pawtucket, he struggled yet again with his control.

He plunked two of the first three batters that he faced and it's certainly worrisome. It's not quite Rick Ankiel yet, but Bard is really losing his touch.

Mid 2nd, 0-0: Looks like Stephen Strasburg isn't the only one dealing over here. Move over because Felix Doubront wants in.

Despite a wild pitch — which was more Jarrod Saltalamacchia's fault — and a runner on third, Doubront racked up two more strikeouts.

That's four through two innings and that arsenal looks good.

End 1st, 0-0: Stephen Strasburg was Stephen Strasburg in the first inning, racking up two strikeouts.

He caught Daniel Nava on a 91 mph changeup and blazed a 99 mph heater past Dustin Pedroia, who struck out swinging.

The scouting report for the the Red Sox was to watch out for Strasburg's fastball.

Mid 1st, 0-0: Bryce Harper entered the batter's box at Fenway Park to some cheers and a few boos as well.

But Felix Doubront wasn't daunted by the young phenom. The southpaw pitcher struck Harper out swinging on a nice curveball.

Then, with a runner in scoring position, Doubront responded by fanning Michael Morse. 

6 p.m.: Here are the lineups.

Red Sox 
Daniel Nava LF
Dustin Pedroia 2B 
Adrian Gonzalez 1B  
David Ortiz DH 
Jarrod Saltalamacchia C  
Kevin Youkilis 3B  
Ryan Sweeney RF  
Mike Aviles SS 
Scott Podsednik CF 

Felix Doubront P

Nationals 
Danny Espinosa 2B
Bryce Harper CF 
Ryan Zimmerman 3B
Michael Morse DH  
Adam LaRoche 1B
Ian Desmond SS 
Xavier Nady RF  
Tyler Moore LF
Jesus Flores C

Stephen Strasburg P

8 a.m. ET: The Red Sox (29-28) are entering the next phase of interleague play and will have their first look at the Nationals (32-23). In the process, the Red Sox will have a crack at young phenom Stephen Strasburg, who is scheduled to take the mound against Felix Doubront. Ever since Strasburg was drafted first overall in the 2009 MLB Draft, he's has been showered with praise and heralded as the next big thing.

Along with Strasburg — who is 6-1 with a 2.35 ERA — the Red Sox will look to silence the bat of Bryce Harper, the 19-year-old phenom who was drafted first overall in the 2010 MLB Draft. That responsibility will fall on Doubront's left arm. But Doubront has been one of the most consistent pitchers on Boston's staff, going 6-2 with a 3.75 ERA.

For details and analysis from Fenway Park, follow NESN.com's live blog. Tune into NESN's pregame show at 6 p.m. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m.

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