It’s been awhile since the Washington Nationals (72-70) got a dominant start from their ace, Max Scherzer (12-11, 2.91 ERA). However, today, as the Nats snapped a five game losing streak with a 5-0 win over the Miami Marlins (61-82), Scherzer snapped a streak of his own. With the win today, Scherzer snapped a seven start losing streak, dating back to July 30 against Miami. However, the win did not come without another injury concern for Washington.
With two outs in the top of the first inning, Jayson Werth grounded out to short against Brad Hand (4-6, 5.32) to end the inning. However, the biggest concern on the play was when Bryce Harper, who was on first, collided with Derek Dietrich while trying to reach second base. Harper was taken out of the game and replaced by Matt den Dekker, who would move to left field while Werth went to right.
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The Nats would get their first run of the game in the top of the third inning. Anthony Rendon drew a one out walk, which was followed by a Yunel Escobar single. Later in the inning, after a Werth walk loaded the bases, Ian Desmond drew the third walk of the inning on four pitches to give the Nationals a 1-0 lead.
One inning later, it was Rendon’s turn to drive in a run. The inning began with a Michael Taylor walk and Tyler Moore single. After Scherzer moved the runners over via a sacrifice bunt, Rendon drove in Taylor with a base hit to left to extend the lead to 2-0. Later in the fourth, against new pitcher Jose Urena, Werth drove in Rendon with a two-out base hit to center field and the Nats had a 3-0 lead.
Those runs would be plenty for Max Scherzer. Scherzer went eight innings, gave up no runs on five hits, struck out six batters, and did not walk anybody in the win. He threw 102 pitches, with 74 of them going for strikes.
The Nationals would tack on one more run in the top of the sixth against Urena. With two outs, den Dekker hit a solo shot to right field to put the Nats up 4-0. It was den Dekker’s third home run of the season.
The lead would increase to 5-0 in the top of the ninth when Wilson Ramos hit a RBI groundout to third that drove in Werth. Besides den Dekker, the stars of the day on offense were Rendon (3-for-4, one RBI) and Moore (2-for-4). Felipe Rivero would come in for Scherzer in the bottom of the ninth. While he walked Justin Bour with two outs, Rivero struck out Marcell Ozuna swinging to end the game.
Next Game: The Washington Nationals will begin a three game series against the Philadelphia Phillies (55-88) tomorrow night at Citizens Bank Park. You can catch the game on MASN2 at 7:05 PM ET. Jordan Zimmermann (12-8, 3.32) gets the start for the Nats against Aaron Nola (6-2, 3.56) for the Phillies.