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3/6/2013 4:00 P.M. ET

Strasburg strikes out six, but offense falls short

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The fans that packed Bright House Field on Wednesday, despite the chilly and windy weather, got to see two of the premier pitchers in baseball.

Phillies right-hander Roy Halladay out-pitched Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg in a 6-3 victory. Halladay allowed two hits, one walk and struck out two in four scoreless innings. Strasburg allowed five hits, two runs, one walk and struck out six in 3 2/3 innings.

The Phillies scored two runs in the third. Tommy Joseph and Yuniesky Betancourt hit back-to-back singles with Ben Revere's sacrifice bunt advancing runners to second and third. Strasburg hit Chase Utley with a pitch to load the bases. Joseph scored on Michael Young's chop single to third base. Betancourt scored on Ryan Howard's fielder's choice.

Interestingly, Halladay threw behind Tyler Moore's back the following inning.

Maybe it is just another sign of a budding rivalry? If so, everybody will have to wait. These teams don't play again until a May 24-26 series at Nationals Park.

In the sixth inning, the Nationals got on the board with a solo home run from Anthony Rendon. It was his third home run in an eye-opening spring campaign for the young infielder. The Nats would go on to add two more runs in the sixth, thanks to an RBI double from Micah Owings and an RBI single from Carlos Rivero.

Up next: The Nationals play closer to home Thursday. They travel to the Kissimmee to face the Astros at 1:05 p.m. Gio Gonzalez follows Stephen Strasburg in the rotation, as he will once the regular season begins. The start will be Gonzalez's third. Philip Humber, less than a year removed from his perfect game with the White Sox, is to start for the Astros.


Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.