Max Scherzer and Jayson Werth returned to the Washington Nationals tonight and did. not. disappoint.
Scherzer went seven strong on the mound in Nationals Park, striking out 10 and giving up one run on five hits in his first start in two weeks after a DL stint for inflammation in his neck.
Werth, in his first game since June 3rd, hit a bomb of a home run in his second at bat to put the Nats up 4-1 in what ended up an 11-2 win over the visiting Miami Marlins.
Werth finished the night 2 for 4 with two RBIs and two runs scored.
The Nationals blew things open in the sixth batting around in a seven-hit, six-run inning that put them ahead 10-1, and then added a run in the seventh, 11-1, before Nationals’ left-hander Matt Grace gave up a run in the eighth.
The red-hot Marlins, who’d won seven of eight coming into the series, and 13 of 16, lost their fourth straight head-to-head against the NL East division leaders from the nation’s capital.
Nationals now 79-51
HERE’S HOW IT HAPPENED:
• Marlins’ starter Jose Urena dispatched Howie Kendrick and Michael A. Taylor quickly with back-to-back Ks to start the bottom of the first, but back-to-back walks to Daniel Murphy and Ryan Zimmerman and a two-out RBI single by Anthony Rendon put Miami behind early in the series opener in D.C., 1-0.
• Jayson Werth received a standing ovation when he stepped to the plate for his first at bat in the majors since early June. He grounded out, but whatever, he’s back.
• Howie Kendrick walked to start the Nationals’ third, moved up on a Michael A. Taylor single, took third on a fly to center by Daniel Murphy, and scored on a groundout by Ryan Zimmerman, 2-0.
• Christian Yelich went with a 95 mph 1-2 fastball outside from Max Scherzer and powered a one-out solo home run out to left to cut the Nats’ lead in half with his sixteenth home run of the season, 2-1 Nationals.
• Matt Wieters started the Nationals’ half of the fourth with a single, and Jayson Werth stepped in with a runner on and crushed a 3-2 changeup from Urena, hitting a no-doubter of a two-run shot to deep left, 4-1 Nats. Werth’s ninth.
Flipping a bat is like riding a bicycle. pic.twitter.com/rImA1VmFDp— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) August 29, 2017
• Jose Urena’s Line: 4.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 4 Ks, 1 HR, 94 P, 55 S, 5/2 GO/FO.
• Max Scherzer talked back-to-back, scoreless, 16-pitch frames in the fifth and sixth, pushing him up to 87 pitches in his return to the mound in the majors.
• Matt Wieters, Jayson Werth, and Wilmer Difo connected for consecutive singles in the bottom of the sixth, and Howie Kendrick stepped in with one down (after Max Scherzer lined out) and sent a 2-2 slider to center where Christian Yelich misplayed it into a base-clearing “triple”, 7-1 Nationals. And 8-1 when Daniel Murphy drove Kendrick in.
• Wieters’ second hit of the sixth inning, and third hit of the night, was a two-out, two-run single that put the Nationals up 10-1.
This is the 20th time we've scored 10+ runs in a game this season.— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) August 29, 2017
P.S The Red Sox led @MLB with 20 last year.
P.P.S It's August 28th. pic.twitter.com/krCms2GCPc
• Scherzer came back out for the seventh at 87 pitches, retiring the side in order in a 13-pitch frame that left him at 100 pitches total. 10 Ks.
• Wilmer Difo tripled to start the Nationals’ seventh and scored on an RBI groundout by Alejandro De Aza, 11-1.
• Max Scherzer’s Line: 7.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 10 Ks, 1 HR, 100 P, 69 S, 5/2 GO/FO.
• Matt Grace gave up a leadoff single, one-out walk, and two-out RBI single in the top of the eighth, with Marcell Ozuna driving in the Marlins’ second run of the game, 11-2.
• Sammy Solis handled the ninth and the Nationals took the series opener. Ballgame.
• Final Score: 11-2 Nationals.
NATIONALS PREGAME NOTES:
- Miami starts this weekend’s three-game set with a 122-110 advantage in the all-time series with Washington (2005-present), though the Nationals are 54-35 against the Marlins since 2013.
- Washington is 37-27 at home heading into this week’s series with Miami, good for the fourth-best home winning percentage in the NL.
- Washington started the night 7-6 against Miami this season with wins in three of the last four.
- In today’s Miami-themed “Fun with Arbitrary End Points” segment: Since May 28th, the Marlins are 49-33, good for the third-best record in the majors over that stretch.
- Washington’s starting pitchers started the night with the second-lowest opponents’ batting average in the majors (.229), the third-highest strikeout total (804), second-lowest opponents’ OBP (.297), and second-lowest ERA (3.51).
- Washington’s offense started the night leading the NL in SLG (.458), runs scored (678), and extra-base hits (456), and the Nationals’ hitters ranked second in AVG (.270), fourth in OBP (.335) and sixth in home runs (181).
- Max Scherzer gave up just 2 ER in 16 innings (1.13 ERA) against the Marlins before tonight’s outing.
Nationals now 79-51