Ramos four RBI, Scherzer’s 11 K’s enough for Nats

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Max Scherzer threw 11 strikeouts (Getty Images)
By James Kenney
The Nationals had ace pitcher Max Scherzer on the mound for the last game of the three game series with the Philadelphia Phillies one day after their 5-1 victory behind Joe Ross’ stellar seven innings. Scherzer faced off with Adam Morgan, a struggling pitcher looking for his fifth win, in pursuit of just his sixth win.
First baseman Ryan Zimmerman wasted no time putting the Nationals on the board with a two out double to right, scoring infielder Daniel Murphy who reached after being hit by a pitch. The Nats took a 1-0 lead behind Zimmerman’s knock in the top of the first.
In the top of the fourth inning, slugging backstop Wilson Ramos plated third baseman Anthony Rendon with a soft line drive to right field off an 0-2 breaking ball. Ramos collected four RBI on the night and finished the game with an outstanding .338 batting average.
Ramos’ damage continued in the top of the sixth with a homerun to right field, again going opposite field. Zimmerman and Rendon both scored on the long shot. The Nats would tack on a sixth run after a longball by switch-hitting shortstop Danny Espinosa. It was his second homerun of the series.
One inning later, Zimmerman increased the Nats’ lead to 7-0 with a sacrifice fly out that scored Murphy. Left fielder Tyler Goeddel made a slick sliding play to catch the ball, but it was not enough to prevent Murphy from scoring.
Scherzer, although essentially flawless in eight innings of work, saw his season-long struggles with the homerun continue in giving up a two-run shot to Goeddel. Aside from that blemish in the bottom of the seventh, Scherzer gave up only five hits and struck out 11. His ERA spiked a little from 3.80 to 3.87 between last night’s start and his previous outing
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