PHILADELPHIA - The Nationals have placed right-hander Max Scherzer on the injured list with a mid-back strain, retroactive to July 10. That means Scherzer, who previously was scratched from a scheduled Sunday start, would be eligible to return July 20 at Atlanta.
Catcher Spencer Kieboom has been recalled from Double-A Harrisburg to take Scherzer’s spot on the roster. Kieboom is hitting .213 with seven doubles, one homer and 11 RBIs in 38 games for the Senators.
Scherzer looked like was good to go as of last night, saying that Tuesday’s scheduled start at Baltimore was “realistic.” He threw for a few minutes on the field before tonight’s game against the Phillies, but did not have a bullpen session.
The right-hander said he first felt the soreness after his start in Detroit on June 30 and the back was sore again after he pitched against the Royals on July 6.
Aníbal Sánchez will start Sunday against the Phillies. There’s no word on who will take Scherzer’s start Tuesday at Camden Yards. The Nationals could go with Kyle McGowin or go to a four-man rotation because of Monday’s off-day.
Update: In the bottom of the second, César Hernández laced a run-scoring double and Rhys Hoskins crushed a solo homer to left field off Patrick Corbin.
Aaron Nola has allowed four hits, but has also struck out five batters through three frames. Three of the strikeouts were looking and three of the punchouts came with his knuckle-curve. Victor Robles and Adam Eaton have hit doubles, but the Nats were unable to get them home.
After three innings, the Phillies lead the Nats 2-0.
Update II: In the fourth, Hoskins walked and J.T. Realmuto singled him to third. Makeil Franco brought Hoskins home with a sacrifice fly to left field. Corbin rebounded with a 1-2-3 fifth inning, including two strikeouts.
After five innings, the Phillies lead the Nats 3-0.
Update III: With two men on and two outs in the sixth, Robles singled to score Ryan Zimmerman. But Yan Gomes struck out to end the rally. The Nats have left nine men on through six innings and Nola has thrown 110 pitches.
Mid-sixth, the Nats trail 3-1 in Philadelphia.
Update IV: Corbin went six innings, allowing three runs on six hits with two walls and 10 strikeouts. It is his second game in a row with 10 or more strikeouts, and the fourth time he has pulled off the feat this season. The last time he had back-to-back 10-plus strikeout performances was July 7 and July 12, 2013. Corbin threw 103 pitches, 68 for strikes.
Nola also pitched six innings, giving up just one run on five hits with four walks and nine strikeouts. He threw 110 pitches, 73 for strikes.
Mid-seventh, the Phillies lead the Nats 3-1.
Update V: Juan Soto and Zimmerman single in the eighth. Later, Robles’ hot shot to third is mishandled by Maikel Franco allowing Soto to score. Franco credited with a fielding error. Pinch-hitter Howie Kendrick walked to load the bases. But pinch-hitter Kurt Suzuki grounded out to second base to end the inning.
Mid-eighth, the Phillies lead the Nats 3-2.
Update VI: In the ninth, Héctor Neris got Trea Turner to ground out to first base on the first pitch. Eaton flew out to left field. Rendon singled to left.
Soto then crushed a two-run line drive homer to left-center field on the first pitch. The crowd was stunned at Citizens Bank Park. It was Soto’s 16th homer of the season and traveled an estimated 420 feet. The Nats had their first lead of the game.
Mid-ninth, the Nats lead the Phillies 4-3.
Update VII: In the bottom of the ninth, Sean Doolittle allowed a single to Franco. With two outs, pinch-hitter Andrew Knapp flew out to center field to end the game.
The Nats’ 30-11 run is the best in franchise history. The Nats are now 2-35 when trailing after eight innings.
Final score: Nats 4, Phillies 3.