Those potential road blocks disappeared when the Nationals pounded out 20 hits with five home runs in a 13-3 rout of the Oakland Athletics at Oakland Coliseum.
Right fielder Brian Goodwin, starting in place of Harper, went 4-for-5 with a two-run homer -- his first major-league blast -- and a triple, finishing a double shy of the cycle.
Every batter in the Nationals' starting lineup had at least one hit, one RBI and one run.
"These guys, they're special," said Goodwin, who hit ninth. "Just being in a lineup like this where guys are so pro. They just know what they're doing. It just really takes the pressure off us guys, guys like me, to go up there and just have relaxed at-bats."
Daniel Murphy went 4-for-6 with a solo home run, two RBIs and two runs for Washington. Anthony Rendon had a three-run homer, a double and three RBIs. Michael Taylor had a solo home run, a double and two runs, and Jayson Werth hit a solo shot and scored twice.
Harper served the second game of his three-game suspension for fighting Giants reliever Hunter Strickland after being hit by a Strickland fastball on Monday at AT&T Park.
Nationals manager Dusty Baker said he was "very happy" for Goodwin.
"Because everybody remembers their first homer and his first four-hit game," Baker said. "He's worked hard to get here and he's working hard to stay here, especially in Bryce's absence. Everybody picked it up in his absence."
The Nationals, who lead the National League with 82 home runs, won their fourth straight game and for the ninth time in their past 11 games. They extended their lead in the NL East to 11 games over the New York Mets and have the NL's best record at 34-19.
Strasburg improved to 7-1 and extended his winning streak to five games. He gave up two runs and four hits in seven innings with seven strikeouts and three walks. In his previous start, Strasburg blanked San Diego on three hits in seven innings and struck out 15, matching his career high.
Oakland right-hander Andrew Triggs (5-5) allowed six runs and nine hits in 3 2/3 innings and lost his third straight game.
"His stuff looked pretty good overall," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "They made him work. The one curveball was up to Taylor that got it started. Then they had a pretty good approach and made him work. Then he threw some balls in the middle of the plate and they hit 'em."
Matt Joyce had a two-run homer and Yonder Alonso a solo shot, his 15th home run of the season, for the A's, who were coming off a 2-7 road trip. Oakland fell 15 1/2 games behind the first-place Houston Astros in the American League West.
The Nationals built a 2-0 lead on the strength of solo shots by Taylor in the second and Murphy in the third off Triggs. Murphy hit his 10th home run and Taylor hit his fifth.
Oakland pulled even in the bottom of the third when Rajai Davis walked with one out and Joyce launched a two-run shot into the right-center field seats off Strasburg. The blast was Joyce's sixth of the season.
The Nationals answered with four runs in the fourth when they batted around and took a 6-2 lead.
"You need a shutdown inning, and I didn't deliver it, so that's hands-down the thing I'm most frustrated about," Triggs said. "We put ourselves in a position to tie the game against a good team and a good pitcher, and I made it easy for them to pull away."
Murphy followed with an RBI single, knocking Triggs out of the game, and Ryan Zimmerman greeted reliever Frankie Montas with a run-scoring single.
The Nationals added a run in the sixth on Werth's homer, two in the seventh on Goodwin's blast and four in the eighth when Rendon capped the scoring with a three-run shot.
"It was a great feeling," Goodwin said of hitting his first homer. "It was a feeling I'd been looking for for a long time. Finally get that monkey off my back. It felt great."
NOTES: A's RHP Jesse Hahn (strained right triceps) will throw a bullpen session Saturday and said he feels ready to return to the rotation. Hahn has been on the 10-day disabled list since May 24. ... A's LHP Sean Doolittle (strained left shoulder) made his first rehab appearance since going on the disabled list April 30. He pitched a scoreless seventh inning for Class A Stockton. Doolittle will make at least one more rehab appearance. ... Nationals OF Chris Heisey has had an apparent setback in his recovery from a ruptured right biceps. Heisey began a minor-league rehab assignment on Monday but was at the Coliseum on Friday to be re-evaluated by Washington's trainers. "He might have rushed it some," Nationals manager Dusty Baker said. "We'll just have to re-evaluate things." ... Baker (1,800-1,590) notched his 1,800th major-league victory. He became the 16th manager in major-league history with at least 1,800 wins.