Nationals lose to Padres, 6-1

WASHINGTON (AP) - Stephen Strasburg left after only four innings Tuesday, matching the second-shortest appearance of his 25-start career, and San Diego's Will Venable had four hits, while John Baker delivered three hits and three RBIs, leading the Padres to a 6-1 victory over the Washington Nationals.

Anthony Bass (2-4) - making his 10th start in the majors - tied his longest outing by going eight innings.

He allowed five hits and one run - on Bryce Harper's homer to right-center, the 19-year-old outfielder's second consecutive game with a solo shot. Bass didn't allow a hit until Ian Desmond's single in the fourth.

Bass struck out seven and walked one before giving way to reliever Andrew Cashner for the ninth.

Cashner struck out Harper swinging at a 101 mph pitch to end it. Venable led off the game with a seemingly harmless blooper off Strasburg (3-1) that dropped in for a double as left fielder Roger Bernadina, center fielder Rick Ankiel and shortstop Ian Desmond all watched it fall.

After a walk, Yonder Alonso delivered an RBI single, and later, on Strasburg's first pitch after an 8-minute rain delay, Baker's single brought home two more runs to make it 3-0.

All told, it was a slog of an opening inning for Strasburg, who needed 39 pitches to get three outs. Including the rain delay and a visit from pitching coach Steve McCatty, that half-inning alone lasted about 25 minutes from start to finish.

James Darnell's first homer of the season, a solo shot in the third, made it 4-0, and Strasburg only stuck around for one more inning. Strasburg gave up four runs and seven hits, leaving after 81 pitches, 55 for strikes.

He walked two batters and struck out five, and his ERA rose from 1.64 to 2.25.

When he was coming back late last season from reconstructive elbow surgery, Strasburg lasted only three innings on Sept. 11, in his second appearance of 2011, and then went four innings on Sept. 23.

The right-hander had gone at least six innings in all previous seven starts this season.

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