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Max Scherzer leads Washington Nationals to 7-3 win over Arizona Diamondbacks in D.C.

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Max Scherzer gave up two runs (on solo home runs) in seven innings of work in a 7-3 win over the D-backs in Nationals Park.

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MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at Washington Nationals Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Max Scherzer gave up two solo homers, and three hits total, over seven innings of work on the mound, leading the Washington Nationals to a 7-3 win over Arizona’s Diamondbacks in the second game of this week’s four-game set in the nation’s capital.

Scherzer struck out 10 of the 27 batters he faced, and extended an unbeaten streak to five straight starts, over which the Nationals’ 34-year-old ace has posted a 1.06 ERA in 34 IP.

Scherzer vs the D-backs: Unbeaten in his last four outings, with one run or fewer allowed in each of those starts (over which he had a 0.67 ERA, five walks, 39 Ks and a .198/.243/.277 line against in 27 IP), Max Scherzer took on his former team tonight in the second game of four with the Arizona Diamondbacks in the nation’s capital.

Scherzer tossed two scoreless to start, striking out four of the seven batters he faced, but a 1-0 fastball up in the zone inside to D-backs’ catcher Carson Kelly went out to left in the first at bat of third for a solo home run that made it 1-0 Arizona. Kelly’s 8th of 2019, and the first off Scherzer in his last 31 innings of work.

With the score 3-1 Nationals after four, Scherzer gave up his second home run of the game on a 95 MPH first-pitch fastball to Nick Ahmed that went out to left to make it 3-2 in the top of the fifth, but Scherzer held the D-backs there, retiring the side in order in the sixth and working around a two-out error in the seventh.

Max Scherzer’s Line: 7.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 10 Ks, 2 HRs, 104 P, 73 S, 3/6 GO/FO.

Ray vs the Nationals: Drafted by the Nationals in the 12th Round in 2010 and traded to the Tigers in 2013 and to the D-backs in 2014, 27-year-old lefty Robbie Ray returned to D.C. for the second of four with Washington tonight with a 3.54 ERA, a 3.19 FIP, 37 walks, and 101 Ks in 14 starts and 76 13 IP on the year in his fifth season with Arizona.

Ray tossed two scoreless innings to start, and took the mound in the third with a 1-0 lead, but a hit by Michael A. Taylor, and an error (by the pitcher) on an attempt at a sac bunt by Max Scherzer put runners on the corners with no one out. Trea Turner stepped in with an RBI opportunity and cashed it with a double to left field, 1-1.

Victor Robles brought Scherzer in with a sac fly to left, 2-1, and Juan Soto hit a check-swing single to bring Turner in from second with two down, 3-1.

The D-backs got within one with a run in the top of the sixth, but Anthony Rendon took a 3-2 slider for a ride in the first at bat of the bottom of the inning to make it 4-2 Nationals. No. 15 of 2019 for Rendon.

One out later, Howie Kendrick hit an 0-1 slider out to left field on a line and into the visitor’s bullpen for his 12th of the season and a 5-2 lead.

Robbie Ray’s Line: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 5 Ks, 2 HRs, 98 P, 61 S, 6/5 GO/FO.

Turner is Streaking: Anthony Rendon’s on-base streak ended after 27 games with his 0-for last night, but Trea Turner, with the first of his two hits in the series opener with the D-backs, extended his own on-base streak to 10-straight, over which he was 13 for 42 (.310/.370/.714) with six doubles, a triple, three home runs, and four walks in 46 PAs.

Turner made it 11-straight games with an RBI double in the third, driving in the Nats’ first run of the series and tying it up at 1-1 a half-inning after the D-backs jumped out to a lead.

BULLPEN ACTION: Righty Matt Andriese took over for Arizona in the bottom of the seventh inning and gave up a leadoff single on a bunt by Michael A. Taylor, a one-out walk to Trea Turner, and an RBI single by Victor Robles that made it a 6-2 game in the Nationals’ favor.

Trea Turner scored on a sac fly by Anthony Rendon to make it 7-2, beating the throw home on what wasn’t really all that deep of a fly to center.

Arizona went to the pen again with a runner on and two out in the Nats’ half of the seventh, and Stefan Crichton got out No. 3.

Wander Suero got the ball for the Nats in the top of the eighth inning and gave up a one-out walk to Ketel Marte, a two-out single by Adam Jones, and an RBI double by Eduardo Escobar that made it a 7-3 game.

Tanner Rainey took over for Suero with runners on second and third and two out, and got a ground ball back to the mound for out No. 3.

Sean Doolittle came on in the top of the ninth with a four-run lead and worked around a one-out double and a two-out walk for a scoreless frame. Ballgame.

Nats now 32-37