Nats, Scherzer try to avoid Phils’ brooms

( – Max Scherzer gets back on the mound to try for his first
win in a Nationals uniform Sunday when Washington tries to avoid a three-game
sweep at the hands of the Philadelphia Phillies.

Scherzer, who signed a seven-year, $210 million contract with the Nats in the
offseason, retired 17 in a row on Opening Day against the Mets, but New York
scored three unearned runs in Washington’s 3-1 loss. Scherzer gave up four
hits over 7 2/3 innings.

In two games against the Phillies, Scherzer is 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA.

October 1, 2012. That’s the last time the Phillies were two games over .500.
Sean O’Sullivan gets an opportunity to help his team to that mark when he
counters on the mound.

O’Sullivan made three appearances, including two starts, for the Phillies last
season and spent most of the year at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. The right-hander
went 0-1 with a 6.39 ERA for the parent club. He’s never faced the Nationals.

On Saturday, Odubel Herrera drove in the game-winning run with his first
career hit during the bottom of the 10th inning to lift the Phillies to a 3-2

Carlos Ruiz singled off Tanner Roark (0-1) to start the inning and moved to
second on Grady Sizemore’s deep fly out to left. Herrera then smacked a
grounder down the right-field line and the ball ricocheted off the fence in
foul territory to score Ruiz.

“Special moment and a special night for us,” Phillies left fielder Ben Revere

Ryan Howard doubled twice and drove in a run and Ruiz also had two hits and an
RBI for the Phillies, who have won the first two of this three-game set and
are over .500 for the first time since May 4, 2014.

Dustin McGowan (1-0) earned the win after tossing a scoreless 10th and starter
Cole Hamels surrendered just one run on two hits and two walks with five
strikeouts over seven solid frames.

Wilson Ramos homered and Clint Robinson provided a pinch-hit RBI single in
Washington’s third straight defeat. Starter Doug Fister allowed six hits over
6 1/3 scoreless innings.

“We’ve struggled a little bit offensively and guys in scoring position, but
we’ll get better at that,” Nationals manager Matt Williams said.

The Phillies went 10-9 versus the Nationals last season, winning six of nine
at home.