The highly anticipated bow of the 2009 first-overall draft pick was everything the Nationals had hoped for and then some, as Strasburg used a blazing, tailing fastball and an assortment of devastating off-speed pitches to baffle the Pirates.
A sellout crowd at Nationals Park cheered on Strasburg (1-0) as he finished his initial outing with a flourish, fanning all three batters in the seventh. He ended up allowing two runs on four hits, walking none and striking out 14, a club record.
Adam Dunn and Josh Willingham socked back-to-back homers in the sixth and Ryan Zimmerman added a solo shot for Washington, which won for just the second time in seven games.
Matt Capps pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to record his major leagues-best 19th save.
Pittsburgh starter Jeff Karstens (1-2) was touched for four runs on nine hits over five innings and Delwyn Young hit a two-run homer in the Pirates' defeat.