Scherzer, Werth return to lead Nationals past Marlins
WASHINGTON — Jayson Werth, 38, is only about five years older than Max Scherzer, but the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner took a shot at his older teammate Monday night.
“It was great to have grandpa back,” said Scherzer, with a smile. “He feels great. It is great to see him back in the lineup.”
Werth and Scherzer both returned from the disabled list on Monday and helped lead the defending National League East champions to an 11-2 victory over the second-place Miami Marlins.
“I feel good. We are getting the band back together,” said Werth, who hinted that injured shortstop Trea Turner could return soon as well.
The two-time Cy Young Award winner gave up one run in seven innings, while the veteran outfielder had two hits and blasted a long home run.
The first-place Nationals (79-51), who also got three hits and two RBIs from Matt Wieters, have won eight of 12. The Marlins (66-64), who began the day 4 1/2 games back of the Colorado Rockies for the second National League wild-card spot, lost for just the third time in 11 contests.
Scherzer (13-5) was back from a bout with neck inflammation, pitching for the first time since Aug. 13.
“I thought we did an OK job with him, honestly. We just have to stay in it,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said of Scherzer. “He is not a guy you want to be down five, six runs. We had a couple of times where we had a chance to get a hit and we didn’t.”
Scherzer struck out major league home run leader Giancarlo Stanton (50 homers) in the fourth and sixth after Stanton grounded into a double play in the first. He fanned both times swinging, with Scherzer getting him on a 96 mph fastball up in the zone in the sixth.
“You want to be aggressive, even though he was hot,” Scherzer said of facing Stanton, named the National League player of the week Monday. “I know he can do damage. He has my respect.”
Scherzer allowed just five hits and two walks while striking out 10.
The losing pitcher was Marlins starter Jose Urena (12-6), who had not lost since a July 31 setback to the Nationals. He gave up four runs on five hits and three walks with four strikeouts in four innings.
The Nationals added six runs in the sixth to make it 10-1.
Howie Kendrick (2-for-4) lined a triple with the bases loaded that got past center fielder Christian Yelich for three runs to give Washington a 7-1 lead off reliever Dustin McGowan, who yielded four runs. Daniel Murphy followed with a run-scoring single, and Wieters had a two-run single later in the inning off Justin Nicolino.
“I think it is the right play for (Yelich) to try and make a play there,” Mattingly said of the Kendrick triple. “That one gets away and the game kind of goes from there. I think that kind of turned the game.”
It was the 20th time this year Washington scored at least 10 runs.
Alejandro de Aza had an RBI groundout in the seventh for an 11-1 lead.
Miami’s Marcell Ozuna collected his third hit, an RBI single in the eighth off Matt Grace, to make it 11-2.
Yelich and Dee Gordon had two hits for the Marlins, as did Washington’s Wilmer Difo.
Anthony Rendon singled home a run in the first to give the Nationals a 1-0 lead off Urena. The Nationals took a 2-0 lead in the third thanks to some smart baserunning and a wise managerial decision by Dusty Baker.
Ryan Zimmerman drove in Kendrick from third with a groundout to make it 2-0. Zimmerman probably would have hit into a double play to end the inning, but Michael A. Taylor, who had singled, was running on the pitch and made it to second before the Marlins could think of trying for a double play.
Yelich hit a solo homer to left off Scherzer in the fourth to trim the lead to 2-1. It was the 16th homer of the year for Yelich while Scherzer gave up his 20th long ball of 2016.
Werth, who had been out since June 4 due to a left foot contusion, hit a towering two-run homer to left in the last of the fourth to give the Nationals a 4-1 edge. The homer was the ninth of the year for Werth and his first since June 2.
“He’s a big part of it,” Scherzer said of Werth, who had been on a minor league rehab assignment. “It shows how hard he has been working.”
NOTES: To clear roster spots for RHP Max Scherzer and OF Jayson Werth to come off the disabled list, the Nationals sent rookie OFs Andrew Stevenson and Rafael Bautista to Triple-A Syracuse. ... Marlins 1B Justin Bour (right oblique strain) took batting practice on the field for the first time since going on the disabled list July 25. ... Hall of Famers Tim Raines and Ivan Rodriguez were recognized before the game. Rodriguez played for the Nationals in 2010-11 while Raines was part of the Montreal/Washington franchise from 1979-90 with the Expos. ... Marlins RHP Vance Worley (2-3, 5.70 ERA) will oppose Washington RHP Edwin Jackson (4-3, 3.38) on Tuesday.