Scherzer takes another crack at first win with Nationals

( – Max Scherzer aims to collect his first win for the
Washington Nationals when they resume a four-game series versus the
Philadelphia Phillies Friday at Nationals Park.

Scherzer signed a huge contract to join the Nationals this offseason and is
0-1 with a 0.66 earned run average through two starts. He lost to the New York
Mets on April 6, allowing three unearned runs in 7 2/3 innings of a 3-1 loss,
then recorded a no-decision in Philadelphia on Sunday.

The right-hander lasted six innings in a 4-3 win over the Phillies and was
charged with one earned run on six hits with eight strikeouts. He has fanned
eight batters in back-to-back starts. In three career starts against the
Phillies, Scherzer has a 1-1 mark with a 3.38 ERA.

Washington opened this series with Thursday’s 5-2 win and starting pitcher
Doug Fister picked up the win with 6 2/3 solid innings. He allowed a pair of
runs – two earned – and four hits with four K’s and four walks. Drew Storen
threw a scoreless ninth for his third save.

Yunel Escobar and Michael Taylor both homered, while Ryan Zimmerman drove in
two runs for the Nationals, who have won two straight and three of five games.

“Things are starting to get rolling right now,” Taylor said.

The Nationals have scored four or more runs in each of the last five games and
will also play St. Louis on this seven-game stay in DC.

Philadelphia is mired in a five-game slide and was swept in three games at the
New York Mets prior to Thursday’s loss. Phillies ace Cole Hamels fell to 0-2
on the season and was tagged for five runs and five hits in six innings. He
struck out seven and issued four walks.

“I’m supposed to be the guy that stops the bleeding,” Hamels said. “Not being
able to do it today is definitely frustrating.”

Freddy Galvis and Darin Ruf had an RBI apiece, while struggling first baseman
Ryan Howard hit seventh for the first time since April 21, 2006. The 35-year-
old Howard went 1-for-3 with a walk.

Sean O’Sullivan draws the start for the Phillies Friday and he will make his
second appearance of the season. O’Sullivan took the mound in Sunday’s 4-3
loss to the Nats at Citizens Bank Park and tossed six innings of two-run ball,
striking out five batters and walking one for the no-decision.

It was the right-hander’s first meeting with the Nationals. O’Sullivan is
vying for a spot in the rotation and needs another solid outing to keep his
superiors satisfied.

The Phillies went 10-9 versus the Nationals last season.