Right-hander Max Scherzer began tonight’s start needing 10 strikeouts to reach 300 for the season.
His previous high was 284 strikeouts in 2016.
He struck out one in the first, two in the second and caught JT Riddle looking in the third. After three innings, Scherzer is six away from 300.
In the bottom of the first, Anthony Rendon crushed a three-run homer off Marlins starter Jeff Brigham.
Rendon now has a 33-game on-base streak and an 11-game hitting streak. The home run is his 67th extra-base hit this season, which is also a new career high. Bryce Harper walked in the first and scored in front of Rendon for his 100th run of the season. He has 127 walks.
Harper doubled in the third, but was left on base following a Juan Soto 3-6-1 double play.
After three innings, the Nationals lead the Marlins 3-0.
Update: Brian Anderson had an RBI double in the fourth. Scherzer now has seven strikeouts through five frames. He needs three more to reach 300. Scherzer is at 70 pitches through five innings.
After five innings, the Nats lead the Marlins 3-1.
Update II: Scherzer has eight strikeouts through six innings, and is two away from 300.
After six innings, the Nats lead the Marlins 3-1.
Update III: Scherzer struck out two in the seventh to reach 300 strikeouts for the season.
Austin Dean struck out to reach the mark, the second out of the inning. Scherzer has now struck out 10 or more batters 18 times this season, 82 times in his career. He is the first National League pitcher to reach 300 in a season since Clayton Kershaw fanned 301 in 2015.
Mid-seventh, the Nats lead the Marlins 3-1.
Update IV: The Nats erupted for six runs on five hits in the seventh highlighted by a two-run singles from Ryan Zimmerman and Adam Eaton. Rendon had an RBI double, the 200th double of his career. Matt Wieters contributed a run-scoring single.
Scherzer finished seven innings, allowing one run on five hits with no walks and 10 strikeouts. He threw 100 pitches, 70 for strikes.
After seven, the Nats lead the Marlins 9-1.
Update V: The Marlins’ Peter O’Brien hit a two-run shot in the eighth. Jimmy Cordero allowed a run in the ninth on a Christopher Bostick RBI single.
Final score: Nats 9, Marlins 4.