Scherzer silences Phils, earns first win with Nats

Washington, DC ( – Bryce Harper’s three-run homer backed a
strong start from Max Scherzer as the Washington Nationals downed the
Philadelphia Phillies 7-2 in the second installment of a four-game series.

Scherzer (1-1) picked up his first win in a Nationals uniform by throwing
eight innings of one-run ball. The offseason acquisition scattered four hits,
struck out nine and did not issue a walk.

Danny Espinosa hit a solo homer, and Ryan Zimmerman added a two-run double for
Washington, which has won three straight following a slow 2-6 start.

Philadelphia’s offense struggled again, producing only two runs on a Freddy
Galvis groundout in the third inning and a Ryan Howard single in the ninth.

The Phillies have scored just 13 runs during a six-game skid.

The Nationals jumped on Sean O’Sullivan (0-1) early as Yunel Escobar led off
the home first with a single and Ian Desmond was hit by a pitch. Harper fell
behind 1-2 before crushing a hanging breaking ball deep to center field for
his third home run of the season.

O’Sullivan caught took much of the plate when facing Espinosa leading off the
fourth, and Espinosa hammered the 2-1 sinker that didn’t sink to roughly the
same spot as Harper’s blast.

Washington tacked on three more runs against the Phillies’ bullpen in the
seventh, as Zimmerman hit a two-run double off Jake Diekman and scored on an
error by Chase Utley.

Scherzer retired 11 of the last 12 hitters he faced. The only baserunner came
on a Desmond error in the seventh.

Game Notes

Scherzer has allowed two earned runs over 21 2/3 innings to start the season
… O’Sullivan’s line was four runs allowed on five hits and two walks over
five innings. He has dropped his last eight decisions … Phillies starters
have a combined record of 1-7 … Desmond accounted for three of Washington’s
10 hits, while Odubel Herrera recorded two of Philadelphia’s seven.