Rick Porcello threw six strong innings and also helped on offense with a three-run double off old friend Max Scherzer as the Boston Red Sox defeated the Washington Nationals 4-3 in the opener of an interleague series Monday night at Nationals Park.
Porcello (10-3) now has won four of his last five decisions for Boston. The right-hander gave up two runs on seven hits in his six innings, and he struck out five with only two walks.
Scherzer (10-5) dropped his fourth straight decision for Washington despite pitching well again. He allowed three runs on four hits in his six innings.
Scherzer also struck out nine and became the 11th player in history to strike out 1,000 batters with two different teams. He’s now done it with the Nationals after accomplishing the same feat earlier in his career with Detroit over in the American League.
Scherzer and Porcello were teammates on the Tigers from 2010-14.
The Red Sox took the lead with a three-run second inning. They loaded the bases with two outs before Porcello, who hasn’t batted much in his career since he pitches in the AL, lined a three-run double to left-center with the bases loaded off Scherzer.
That gave Boston an early 3-0 lead. Porcello had just two career RBIs and five hits overall before that at-bat, and the pitcher had not driven in a run since 2009 as AL pitchers only bat when playing at National League teams.
Washington cut the lead to 3-1 when Anthony Rendon hit a solo homer leading off the fourth inning. The Nationals made it 3-2 when Daniel Murphy homered off Porcello in the sixth.
However, Mookie Betts gave the Red Sox some insurance when he led off the seventh with a homer to left-center off Brandon Kintzler. That put Boston up, 4-2.
Bryce Harper hit Washington’s third solo homer of the night, this one off Joe Kelly in the eighth, to pull the Nationals to within one run. Boston closer Craig Kimbrel came on with two outs in the eighth and got the final four outs for his 25th save this season.
—Field Level Media