Scherzer pitches 8 strong innings in 5-0 win for Nationals
MIAMI (AP) Max Scherzer got the results he had been looking for over the past six weeks.
Scherzer pitched eight stellar innings to help the Washington Nationals end a five-game losing streak with a 5-0 win against the Miami Marlins on Sunday.
''You know you're in for a battle when you face him,'' Marlins manager Dan Jennings said. ''He's leading the league in a lot of categories for a reason. We ran into a buzzsaw.''
Scherzer (12-11) allowed five hits and did not walk a batter to earn his first win since July 30 at Miami. He struck out six while throwing 74 of his 102 pitches for strikes. Scherzer had been 0-3 with a 6.08 ERA in seven starts since beating the Marlins on July 30. He lowered his ERA to 2.91.
''Overall I thought over the past month or so I have been throwing the ball well, I just haven't gotten the results,'' said Scherzer. ''To be able to go out there and kind of limit the amount of mistakes I do make and have them hit the ball at people makes for a good outing.''
It was the deepest Scherzer has been in a game without allowing a run since tossing a no-hitter on June 20 against Pittsburgh.
''It's finally nice to get some results and be able to pitch deep into a game especially in a game where we needed it after we lost the first two the way that we had,'' Scherzer said.
Felipe Rivero relieved Scherzer to pitch the ninth.
''I would imagine that if (Max) didn't run the bases in his last at-bat like he did we could have sent him back out,'' Nationals manager Matt Williams said. ''But no use doing that with a five-run lead at that point.''
The Nationals lost star Bryce Harper in the first inning due to precautionary reasons after colliding with Marlins second baseman Derek Dietrich while running the bases.
''I tried to get up on my own, but I felt pretty dizzy,'' Harper said. ''Once I rolled I just said that I didn't feel right. I was looking up into the stadium and I just didn't feel good at all. I told them I was fine to play, but once I said I was dizzy they were just like, `There's no point' and just got me out there.''
Harper has received a concussion test.
''All tests now and since have been really good,'' Williams said. ''No signs of a concussion so we'll keep evaluating him through the night and see how he is tomorrow.''
Harper's replacement, Matt den Dekker, hit a solo home run, his third of the season.
Anthony Rendon, Jayson Werth, Ian Desmond, and Wilson Ramos also drove in runs for the Nationals, who won the final game of the series after losing the first two and falling nine games behind the first-place New York Mets.
''We've got to win every game when you put yourself in this position,'' Werth said. ''It's good to get a win, but we pretty much have to win the rest of them.''
Harper reached base on a fielder's choice in the top of the first and was attempting to run to third on a ground ball hit by Jayson Werth to shortstop Miguel Rojas. Dietrich was going to second to cover the base when the two collided as Rojas' throw went to first base for the final out.
Marlins starter Brad Hand (4-6) allowed three runs, five hits, and four walks in 3 1-3 innings. Hand is 0-3 with a 13.97 ERA in his last three starts after pitching eight innings allowing two runs in a win against Pittsburgh on Aug. 25.
''I felt good those first two innings, and then after that I kind of lost a feel for everything,'' Hand said. ''I fell behind in the count; I walked too many guys and those walks will hurt you.''
Hand issued a bases-loaded walk to Desmond for the Nationals' first run.
Rendon and Werth each had run-scoring singles in the fourth to push the lead to 3-0 before den Dekker's home run in the sixth.
The Nationals added a run in the ninth on a groundout by Ramos.
Marlins: RHP Jose Fernandez felt good the day after his first game since Aug. 7 tossing five shutout innings and striking out seven in a 2-0 win over Washington. ''I feel good, no issues at all today,'' Fernandez said. ''Everything is fine. Just ready to go.''
Nationals: RHP Jordan Zimmermann (12-8, 3.32 ERA) takes the mound on Monday as Washington begins a three-game series at Philadelphia, which will counter with RHP Aaron Nola (6-2, 3.56).
Marlins: LHP Justin Nicolino (3-3, 3.72) gets the ball against Mets RHP Logan Verrett (1-0, 1.93) on Monday in New York.