Max Scherzer held the St. Louis Cardinals scoreless over seven innings when Washington visited Busch Stadium earlier this month.
In his second start against the Cards this season, the Nationals' 31-year-old right-hander struggled with his command early, walking four batters in the first three innings, with the fourth walk a bases-loaded free pass to Matt Holilday that forced in a run, 1-0.
Scherzer then gave up a grand slam on an 0-1 slider to Stephen Piscotty in the at bat that followed, with Piscotty hitting his sixth home run of the season into the left field seats in Nats Park, 5-0.
It was Scherzer's major league-leading 15th home run allowed, though just the sixth with runners on... #stresspositives
Cards' lefty Jaime Garcia, who gave up four hits, three walks and four earned runs in 6 ⅓ innings pitched when he faced the Nationals in late April, was facing a Washington team that entered play with a .264/.346/.466 line vs left-handers this season, good for 5th/4th/2nd across the line in the National League.
Garcia tossed four scoreless to start his outing in D.C., but an 0-2 slider to Danny Espinosa ended up in the left field stands as the Nationals' second baseman yanked one low in the zone for a line drive dinger, 5-1. Espinosa's 5th HR this season, second in two games.
Bryce Harper singled, took second on a wild pitch and third on a single by Daniel Murphy before scoring on a 5-4-3 DP off Ryan Zimmerman's bat to make it 5-2 #Cards in the sixth.
Scherzer retired 14-straight batters after Piscotty's slam, finishing the night at 92 pitches after a quick, 14-pitch, 1-2-3 seventh.
Max Scherzer's Line: 7.0 IP, 3 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 4 BB, 6 Ks, 1 HR, 92P, 63 S, 5/3 GO/FO.
Jaime Garcia completed a scoreless seventh and Greg Garcia stepped up in the eighth and hit the first pitch from Yusmeiro Petit out to left-center for a solo blast that made it 6-2 Cardinals.
Jaime Garcia's Line: 7.0 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 Ks, 1 HR, 92 P, 60 S, 11/6 GO/FO.
Cards' southpaw Kevin Siegrist retired the Nationals in order in the eighth and right-hander Matt Bowman, a Maryland native, worked around an error for a scoreless ninth. 6-2 Cards.
Nationals now 29-20
- Washington's win last night was their fourth straight win over St. Louis this season and their fifth straight over the Cardinals overall.
- The Nationals' three wins over the Cards in Busch Stadium earlier this season left them 10-26 in St. Louis since 2005, and their win last night in Nationals Park left them 15-14 since against the Cardinals at home since the park opened in 2008.
- While the Cardinals came up empty vs Jonathan Papelbon in the ninth last night, they have scored 34 ninth-inning runs this season, which is just seven runs shy of their total for the entire year in 2015.
- In today's Nationals-themed "Fun with Arbitary End Points" segment: Washington third baseman Anthony Rendon is 20 for 56 (.357 AVG) with five doubles, a triple, one home run and 11 walks... in 16 games since May 10th.
- Nationals' relievers have a 0.84 ERA in 42 ⅔ IP since May 9th, and they haven't allowed any of their 22 inherited runners to score over that stretch.
- Washington has committed a total of 19 errors this season, the second-lowest total in the majors, behind only the New York Mets' 18 errors.
- Washington had a .989 fld% as a team, tied with the New York Mets and San Francisco Giants for the major league lead heading into play tonight.
- The Nationals, as a team, rank third in the majors in "Defensive Efficiency", defined by Baseball Prospectus as the "rate at which balls put into play are converted into outs," at .719, behind only the Los Angeles Dodgers (.735) and Chicago Cubs (.750) in the National League.
- Daniel Murphy started the night leading the majors in batting average (.394), hits (69) and multi-hit games with 24 in 46 games played this season.
Nationals now 29-20