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Washington Nationals 17-2 over Arizona Diamondbacks: Nats pound out 22 hits

A rare laugher on a late night for the Nationals and their fans backs on the East Coast, 17-2 over the D-backs...

Washington Nationals v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Davey Martinez wants early runs. Davey Martinez gets early runs. Washington’s Nationals put up six in the first tonight in Arizona, and added runs in six of the next eight frames as well, pounding out 22 hits and 17 runs on a 17-2 win over the Diamondbacks in the 1st of 3 this weekend in Chase Field.

Scherzer vs AZ: Max Scherzer has allowed one run or less fewer in five of seven starts this season, including each of his last two heading into tonight’s matchup with the team that drafted him (1st Round, 2006) and developed him before trading him to the Detroit Tigers back in 2009.

After struggling in a start against the Toronto Blue Jays in Dunedin, FL, where he gave up eight hits, two walks, and seven runs, five earned, in five innings, Scherzer put together a pair of outings (one a complete game) in which he gave up seven hits and two earned runs, both on solo home runs, while walking just one batter and striking out 23 in 16 13 IP.

Tonight in Arizona, Scherzer took the mound with a 6-0 lead and tossed four scoreless as the Nationals added to their lead, going up 8-0 after three, though his pitch count got up there, with 73 pitches through four, and it was 11-0 when he came out for the fifth with an easy, 12-pitch, 1-2-3 frame, which left him at 85 pitches total.

With the Nationals up big, their skipper apparently decided that was enough for Scherzer.

Max Scherzer’s Line: 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 Ks, 85 P, 55 S, 1/4 GO/FO.

Smith vs D.C.: Riley Smith, 26, and a 2016 24th Round pick out of LSU, debuted for the D-backs in 2020’s 60-game campaign, making six appearances out of the bullpen, and the right-hander has been back and forth between the ‘pen and rotation this season as well, with seven appearances overall, four of them starts, before he took the mound against the Nationals tonight in Chase Field.

Heading into the outing, the righty had a (1-2) record with a 4.74 ERA, four walks, seven Ks, and a .311/.342/.392 line against in 19 IP as a starter.

Smith and the D-backs were down 1-0 early after Trea Turner hit a 94 MPH 0-1 sinker out to left field for a leadoff blast in the first at bat. Turner’s 9th.

Juan Soto and Starlin Castro walked around a Kyle Schwarber single to load the bases with one out later in the first, and Josh Bell lined a double to right field on an 0-2 slider, driving two more in, 3-0, before Yan Gomes doubled into the left-center gap, 5-0. Bell’s 5th, No. 3 for Gomes. Victor Robles’s 3rd double of the season brought Gomes in, 6-0.

Schwarber hit a solo shot to left-center field with two down in the second, 7-0, sending a 1-2 changeup out the other way for his second in two games and 5th on the season.

Gomes was 2 for 2 with a home run and triple after he bounced one off the batter’s eye to lead off the top of the third, and he scored, one out later, on a double to center by Robles, 8-0. Robles’s 2nd of the game.

Riley Smith’s Line: 3.0 IP, 8 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 2 BB, 0 K, 2 HRs, 67 P, 44 S, 7/3 GO/FO.

Streaking Castro: Starlin Castro started the night with an 11-game hit streak, going back to May 1st, over which the Nats’ third baseman was 17 for 47 (.425/.511/.525) with four doubles, seven walks, and five Ks in 47 PAs.

Castro walked the first time up, reached on an error in at bat No. 2, grounded out in AB No. 3, and sent a fly to center in the fifth, 0 for 3, BB.

A line drive to right with the based loaded in the seventh left him 0 for 4, and Castro lined out to center in the eighth. So long, streak. We hardly knew y — but wait, he got another at bat in the ninth... and lined out to third. So long, streak, barring a 16-run bottom of the 9th.

Bullpen Action: Lefty Caleb Smith took over for Arizona with the D-backs down 8-0 in the fourth, and tossed the first scoreless inning of the night for the home team.

Smith walked Josh Bell to start the fifth, gave up a single by Yan Gomes (3 for 3, a HR short of the cycle) and hit Victor Robles, loading them up with one out, and Trea Turner drove in two more runs with a double to right, 10-0.

Josh Harrison drove in a run with his first hit of the night, after some well-struck outs earlier in the game, 11-0, and a Kyle Schwarber walk loaded the bases back up with two out, but a Starlin Castro fly to right ended the inning.

Smith gave the Diamondbacks another inning of relief in the top of the sixth, working around the back-to-back singles that started the frame for a scoreless inning of work.

Pavin Smith doubled off Will Harris in the first at bat of the D-backs’ sixth, and scored from third one out later on an Eduardo Escobar groundout, 11-1 Nationals.

Righty Kevin Ginkle was all over the place as the Nats loaded the bases in the seventh and added to their lead on an RBI groundout by Josh Bell, 12-1.

Yan Gomes (4 for 4) stepped in with two out, and went down looking, 4 for 5.

Wander Suero worked around a single in a 13-pitch seventh in his return to the mound in the majors after time on the IL with an oblique strain.

J.B. Bukauskas gave up a run on a two-out single by Juan Soto, after Andrew Stevenson and Yadiel Hernández singled their way on, 13-1, and 14-1 on Kyle Schwarber’s third hit.

Paolo Espino tossed a quick, scoreless bottom of the eighth.

David Peralta pitched in the top of the ninth, giving up Yan Gomes’ 5th hit of the night, 5 for 6, and a 3-run HR to right by Andrew Stevenson, 17-1.

Espino returned for the bottom of the ninth inning and worked around a two-out single to mercifully end this one.

Final Score: 17-2 Nationals

Nationals now 15-19