Washington Nationals’ ace Max Scherzer gave up four home runs this afternoon in a 8-6 loss to the Cubs
This afternoon, at Wrigley Field, the Washington Nationals (19-10) took on the Chicago Cubs (21-6) in the second game of their four game series. It was a battle of veteran right-handers as Max Scherzer took on John Lackey. However, it was Lackey who had the edge today as Scherzer gave up four home runs and the Nats fell to the Cubs, 8-6.
Before the game, the Washington Nationals got their leadoff hitter and center fielder Ben Revere back in the lineup when they activated him off the 15-day disabled list (He went 0-for-5 with a strikeout today). With Revere coming up, Matt den Dekker was sent down to triple-A Syracuse.
The Nats did get on the board first in the first inning when Anthony Rendon hit a solo shot to left center. It was Rendon’s second home run of the season and his second in the last four games. In the following inning, with runners on the corners and two outs, Scherzer helped his own cause with a base hit to right that drove in Daniel Murphy.
However, Scherzer would give both of those runs back in the bottom of the inning. After a leadoff walk by Ben Zobrist, Tommy La Stella hit a two-run home run to right center, his second of the season, to tie the game at two. The home runs would continue in the third inning.
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With two outs, Anthony Rizzo hit a solo home run that just stayed fair down the right field for his tenth home run of the season. Zobrist would follow that up with a solo home run of his own to right to put Chicago up 4-2.
Two innings later, Zobrist would hit a three-run shot to right field for his second of the game, third of the series, and fifth of the season to widen the lead to 7-2. As for Scherzer, he went five innings, gave up seven runs on seven hits, struck out seven, and walked three on 96 pitches in the loss.
After the first two innings, the Nationals’ offense couldn’t do much against Lackey. The Cubs’ right-hander went seven innings, gave up two runs on six hits, struck out 11, and walked one on 111 pitches to pick up the win. The Cubs would add a run in the bottom of the sixth when Dexter Fowler singled up the middle to drive in David Ross against Blake Treinen.
Down 8-2, the Nats tried to mount a comeback in the top of the eighth against the Cubs’ bullpen. With two on and one out, Jayson Werth doubled down the left field line to drive in Bryce Harper and Murphy to cut the lead to 8-4. The deficit would go down to 8-6 when Wilson Ramos crushed a two-run homer to left, his third home run of the season. All four runs were scored against Justin Grimm.
But, in the ninth inning, closer Hector Rondon stopped the comeback by retiring the Nats in order to pick up his fifth save of the season. Even in a loss, Murphy continues to hit the ball well. He went 4-for-4 to increase his batting average to .406.
Next Game: The Washington Nationals will take on the Cubs tomorrow afternoon at 4:05 p.m ET. You can catch the game on MASN and FOX Sports 1. Gio Gonzalez (2-1, 1.15) will start for the Nats against Jason Hammel (4-0, 1.24) for the Cubs.