Scherzer struggles early, but Rendon helps out (Nats fall 14-6)

The Cubs took advantage of some uncharacteristic wildness from Nationals right-hander Max Scherzer to begin the opening game of their weekend series in D.C.

Scherzer walked Kyle Schwarber on four pitches and Kris Bryant laced a single to left field. The Nats fought back when Scherzer induced a 3-6-1 double play from Anthony Rizzo.

But Javier Báez doubled off the glove of Juan Soto, the baseball bouncing off the left field wall. Schwarber scored to give the Cubs the early lead.

Cole Hamels allowed a single up the middle to newly activated Trea Turner. With two outs, Howie Kendrick singled and Soto walked. With the bases loaded, Kurt Suzuki lined out to center field.

After one inning, the Cubs lead the Nats 1-0.

Scherzer-Bears-Down-Blue-Sidebar.jpgThe Cubs saw Scherzer well in the second inning, too. Jason Heyward laced a one-out single and Albert Almora Jr. cranked a two-run shot over the left field wall to extend the Cubs’ advantage.

Scherzer added a two-out single of his own in the second, but the Nats were unable to capitalize. He managed to strike out two batters in the third. He has four strikeouts in three frames.

In the bottom of the third, Anthony Rendon blasted a two-run home run to left-center field to get the Nats back in it. Rendon has seven homers, second on the team to Victor Robles, who has eight.

After three innings, the Cubs lead the Nats 3-2.

Update: Scherzer settled in and gave up only two hits over the next three innings. The Nats loaded the bases in the sixth, but Michael A. Taylor struck out to end the opportunity. Washington has eight hits, but 10 men left on base through six innings against Hamels.

After six innings, the Cubs hold a 3-2 lead over the Nats.

Scherzer lasted six innings, allowing three runs on six hits with four walks and eight strikeouts. He threw 112 pitches, 74 for strikes.

Update II: In the seventh, the Cubs added a two-run shot by Bryant off of Justin Miller. Two batters later, Miller left with an injury, replaced by Joe Ross.

Mid-seventh, the Cubs lead the Nats 5-2.

Update III: In the seventh, the Nats strung together three hits in a row against former teammate Brandon Kintzler, beginning with a double by Soto. Suzuki’s single scored Soto. After Brian Dozier’s single, Suzuki scored on a balk by Carl Edwards Jr.

With two outs, Dozier on third base and pinch-hitter Gerardo Parra at the plate, a wild pitch ricocheted off home plate and then catcher Willson Contreras. Dozier headed home, hesitated and then started heading back to the bag. Edwards retrieved the ball and caught him in a rundown, and Dozier was called out for running out of the baseline.

After seven, the Cubs lead the Nats 5-4.

Update IV: Schwarber hit a two-run homer and Bryant added another solo shot for the Cubs in the eighth off Kyle Barraclough. Dan Jennings allowed a hit by pitch, a walk and two singles, and a Turner throwing error allowed two more runs to score.

Mid-eighth, the Cubs lead the Nats 10-4.

Update V: Bryant hit his third homer in as many at-bats, another two-run shot, and Contreras blasted a two-run round-tripper as the Cubs poured it on with four more runs in the ninth. They scored 11 runs on 12 hits in the final three innings.

Update VI: Dozier connected with two-run double in the ninth.

Final score: Cubs 14, Nats 6.

The Nats are 2-13 in series openers and 2-9 versus the National League Central, falling to 18-26 overall.

blog comments powered by Disqus