Max Scherzer received plenty of run support this afternoon in the nation’s capital, as the Washington Nationals hit four straight home runs in the third, and five in six at bats in the inning in what ended up a seven-run frame and a 15-2 game.
The Nationals, who got a two-run blast from Bryce Harper in the first to jump out to a 2-0 lead early in the series finale with the Milwaukee Brewers, added six runs and two home runs in the fourth to go up 15-1.
Overall, on the day, the Nationals hit eight home runs total, and cruised to the second win in the three-game set with the Brewers behind a solid start by Scherzer, who gave up one run on three hits in six innings, striking out nine to pass the 200 K mark for the sixth straight season. 15-2 final in D.C.
HRs: Bryce Harper hit two (Nos. 26-27); Brian Goodwin (10); Wilmer Difo (3); Ryan Zimmerman hit two (21-22); Anthony Rendon (21); Jose Lobaton (4).
Nationals now 61-39
HERE’S HOW IT HAPPENED:
• Nationals’ leadoff man Brian Goodwin doubled to left on a 3-2 fastball from Michael Blazek to break up the Brewers’ starter’s nascent no-hit bid in the bottom of the first inning, and Bryce Harper broke up Blazek’s shutout bid with a two-run home run to right on a first-pitch fastball. No. 26 for Harper, 2-0 Nationals.
• Max Scherzer was up to 53 pitches and six Ks after he added two strikeouts in a 16-pitch third, completing his third scoreless and hitless frame to start the game.
• Scherzer walked to start the third, and scored on a two-run home run to right by Goodwin, who hit a 1-0 fastball over the out-of-town scoreboard for a 4-0 lead, and Wilmer Difo followed with a no-doubter on a 1-1 slider from Blazek that he bounced off the facade of the second deck in right for a solo blast that made it a 5-0 game.
• Bryce Harper followed Goodwin and Difo with the third straight home run, taking a 3-2 change out the other way, and Ryan Zimmerman made it four straight home runs, 7-0 Nationals. Back-to-back-to-back-to-back blasts. First time in franchise history.... and one out later Anthony Rendon joined in on the fun, hitting the fifth home run in six at bats, 8-0.
• Adam Lind singled, stole second, and scored on an RBI double by Jose Lobaton, 9-0, in the inning that just won’t end for the Brewers. Seven-run inning. As for all the homers, yeah, that’s a record-tying inning:
via NatsPR: #Nationals have tied Major League records for home runs in an inning (5) and consecutive home runs in an inning (4).— federalbaseball (@federalbaseball) July 27, 2017
• Michael Blazek’s Line: 2.1 IP, 7 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 1 BB, 4 Ks, 6 HRs, 61 P, 41 S, 1/2 GO/FO.
• Wilmer Difo hit an oppo single to left to lead off the Nationals’ fourth, and he scored on an opposite field double by Bryce Harper to make it a 10-1 game. Make that 12-1 on Ryan Zimmerman’s second and the Nationals’ seventh home run of the game.
• Daniel Murphy walked after Zimmerman’s blast, Rendon sent a double to left to move Murphy around to third, and after Adam Lind drove Murphy in with a groundout, 13-1, Jose Lobaton hit a two-run blast to make it 15-1, on the Nationals’ eighth home run of the game.
• Scherzer picked up his 199th and 200th Ks of the season in a 13-pitch fifth that left him at 81 pitches overall, and added No. 201 of 2017 and No. 9 of the afternoon in a 28-pitch sixth that pushed him up to 109 pitches overall. That was it for Max...
• Max Scherzer’s Line: 6.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 9 Ks, 1 HR, 109 P, 70 S, 3/5 GO/FO.
• Enny Romero gave up a solo home run by Lewis Brinson on a 97 mph 1-0 fastball that ended up soaring out to left, 15-2.
• Matt Grace threw a scoreless, 18-pitch top of the eighth. Hernan Perez, who started the game in left, came out to the mound for pitch for the Brewers in the bottom of the inning, giving up Andrew Stevenson’s first major league hit, a one-out walk to Brian Goodwin, but completed a scoreless frame.
• Matt Albers worked a scoreless ninth to end it. Final Score: 15-2 Nationals.
NATIONALS PREGAME NOTES:
- Washington can’t even the all-time series with Milwaukee up today, but they can take the series and get to within a game of the Brewers, who currently hold a 43-41 lead in the all-time series with the Nationals.
- Washington started the day with four players in the Top 11 in average in the NL: Daniel Murphy (2nd; .340 AVG), Bryce Harper (3rd; .334); Ryan Zimmerman (8th; .316), and Anthony Rendon (11th; .315 AVG).
- Bryce Harper extended his hitting streak to 18-straight games last night. Over the course of his streak, the Nationals’ outfielder is 30 for 72 (.417 AVG) with six doubles, a triple, seven homers, 12 walks, and 23 runs scored.
- Harper also has a 26-game on-base streak going, tied for the longest on-base streak of his career (June-July, 2015).
- Anthony Rendon started the day at an NL-leading 5.0 fWAR, behind only the Yankees’ Aaron Judge (5.5 fWAR) and the Astros’ Jose Altuve (5.6) for the major league lead.
- Max Scherzer started the day (1-2) with a 1.91 ERA in five starts and 33 IP against the Brewers in his career.
Nationals now 61-39