Scherzer leads Nats over Miami, heads to join wife for birth
WASHINGTON (AP) — Max Scherzer delivered in a hurry, tossing a five-hitter to lead the Washington Nationals over the Miami Marlins 3-1.
Then it was on to more important matters.
Scherzer hustled out of Nationals Park after a game that took only 2 hours, 37 minutes, hurrying to be with wife Erica for the birth of their third child on Sunday night.
“We knew going into it. That’s why we tried to make it a quick game,” catcher Yan Gomes kidded.
Scherzer (2-2) carried a shutout into the ninth inning before Isan Diaz led off with a home run.
The right-hander, who bounced back from a subpar outing against the Blue Jays, struck out nine without a walk and hit a batter while throwing 106 pitches.
“He had 23 of 31 first-pitch strikes,” said manager Dave Martinez before announcing Scherzer’s other news. “As a starting pitcher, that’s what you’ve got to do.”
It was the 12th career complete game for Scherzer, who got loud applause from the approximately 8,500 fans at Nationals Park when he came out to start the ninth, unaware how special a day it was for Scherzer.
Ryan Zimmerman backed Scherzer with a three-run homer.
“Typical of him to do something cool on obviously on an interesting day for him,” Zimmerman said. “For him to go complete game and pitch the way he did today and then go over and have a baby with his wife. Pretty cool day for him. We’re happy for him. He never ceases to amaze I guess is the best way to put it.”
Yan Gomes added two hits for Washington, which improved to .500 with its fourth straight win.
The Marlins finished 3-7 on their road trip after getting swept by Washington.
“It’s hard to say it was a good trip at all,” manager Don Mattingly said. “We had a chance to come in here and win a series and be even on the road and we didn’t do that.”
Miami rookie Trevor Rogers (3-2) hadn’t allowed a run in his past two games, spanning 13 innings. Against Washington, he gave up three runs on four hits, three walks and a hit batter in five innings while striking out six.
“He was a little out of sync today, but that shows you what he’s made of,” Mattingly said. “He hangs in there. Outside of that pitch to Zimmerman, he’s got a chance to put up zeros.”
With runners on first and second in the Washington third, Rogers caught Victor Robles trying to steal third. Trea Turner walked and then Zimmerman sent an 0-2 fastball over the 402-foot sign in center.
The 36-year-old Zimmerman, who opted to sit out the 2020 season, is hitting .319 with four home runs and 10 RBIs in limited action. He’s hit safely in eight of his 10 starts.
He struck out on a fastball against Rogers in the first inning.
“On the second at-bat I said I wasn’t going to get beat on the heater,” Zimmerman said. “He threw me two decent changeups to start and I was just ready for the heater. It’s kind of funny how on 0-2 sometimes you simplify and just try to hit the ball hard and sometimes those are your best swings.”
Nationals No. 2 hitter Josh Harrison got on base three times in four plate appearances. He’s reached base in 15 of the 17 games he’s played this season.
Marlins: SS Miguel Rojas (tightness in his hamstring and hip) was given a day off.
Nationals: RHP Stephen Strasburg (right shoulder) threw a 32-pitch bullpen on Saturday and could throw another bullpen session this week. … OF Juan Soto (left shoulder), threw from 120 feet on Sunday. Manager Dave Martinez said they want him to field grounders and throw to bases before his return. … RHP Wander Suero (left oblique strain) threw at 120 feet Sunday and could throw a bullpen session this week.
Marlins: RHP Sandy Alcantara (1-2) pitches when the Marlins host the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday. He’s 0-1 with a 4.63 ERA in two starts against the Diamondbacks.
Nationals: RHP Joe Ross (2-1) opens a three-game series against the visiting Atlanta Braves on Tuesday. Ross is 1-3 with a 6.98 ERA versus Atlanta but hasn’t started against the Braves since July 9, 2017.
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