WASHINGTON (AP) — Max Scherzer dominated after an early hiccup, striking out 11 and retiring his final 20 batters as the Washington Nationals ended a three-game skid by beating the Colorado Rockies 6-2 on Saturday.
Scherzer (3-1) issued a one-out walk in the first inning and Charlie Blackmon followed with a home run. That was all the Rockies managed against Scherzer, who has won the last two NL Cy Young Awards.
Scherzer struck out the next five batters and left after seven innings. He has fanned at least 10 in three of his four starts this year.
Colorado slugger Nolan Arenado didn’t play. He has dropped his appeal of a five-game suspension for a fight earlier this week and began serving the penalty. The Rockies had won three in a row.
Matt Wieters hit his first homer of the season, connecting in the fourth. He added an RBI single in a four-run sixth.
Washington had scored just one run in each of the first two games of the series.
Blackmon, who had missed the last four games for Colorado with right quad tightness, hit his fifth homer of the season.
Jon Gray (1-3) allowed five runs on eight hits over 5 2/3 innings, striking out six.
Bryce Harper doubled and singled. He scored to give the Nationals their first lead at 3-2 in the sixth after Washington manager Dave Martinez challenged the ruling on the field that Harper was out at the plate, a call that was overturned.
Moises Sierra drove in two runs for Washington in his first big league start since 2014 with the White Sox. He played in place of outfielder Brian Goodwin was a late scratch with a sore left wrist, which has sidelined him since he left in the eighth inning of Wednesday’s 5-3 loss to the Braves.
Nationals: 3B Anthony Rendon (toe) was out of the starting lineup for the first time this season. Rendon left Friday’s game after fouling a ball off his left big toe in the fifth inning. “He’s sore, real sore,” Martinez said. “He’s probably going to be day-to-day. The x-rays are negative so that’s a good sign. He took a pretty big blow to his big toe so we’ll see how he feels.”
Rockies: LHP Tyler Anderson (0-0, 5.65) had a season-high eight strikeouts in his last start against the Padres on April 10.
Nationals: RHP Stephen Strasburg (2-1, 2.21), who has 21 strikeouts to go against just five walks this season, is 4-4 with a 3.97 ERA in eight career starts against the Rockies.
By BOBBY BANCROFT
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