WASHINGTON — Max Scherzer has gone at least seven innings in 19 starts this season, and the Washington Nationals beat the Atlanta Braves in all four of his starts.
Trea Turner and Chris Heisey each homered during a five-run third inning, Scherzer pitched seven strong innings for his 16th victory and the well-traveled Nats beat the Braves 6-4 on Monday.
Turner was one of only a few regulars starting for Washington after the team commuted home following a Sunday night game at the New York Mets. He had three hits and three RBIs, and the Nats won for the 12th time in 14 meetings against Atlanta this season.
Washington maintained an 8 1/2-game lead in the NL East over the Mets, who won 5-0 at Cincinnati.
Scherzer (16-7) returned to Washington ahead of his teammates Sunday. He scattered seven hits and yielded two runs to win his fourth consecutive start. He has a 2.45 ERA in that span.
Ryan Weber (1-1) lost his first start of the season for Atlanta. Weber allowed five runs in three innings as the Braves had a six-game winning streak snapped.
Washington began a stretch of 17 out of 26 games at home to close out the season, and created problems for Weber the second time he went through the order. Turner smacked a two-run homer to left with an out in the third to give the Nationals the lead.
Weber put the next two men on and, after a pop out, Heisey blasted his ninth home run to left to make it 5-1. Turner, who finished a triple shy of the cycle, then added an RBI single in the fourth.
Atlanta scored twice in the ninth off closer Mark Melancon to pull within 6-4, but the right-hander ended the threat by getting catcher Anthony Recker to fly out with a man on first.
Braves: Interim manager Brian Snitker said he hopes RHP Matt Wisler (sore side) can return to the rotation next week. Atlanta skipped his turn Monday. “I’d like to get him back out there, obviously,” Snitker said. “I want him to finish the season.”
Nationals: RHP Joe Ross allowed one run and three hits in three innings during a rehab start for Triple-A Syracuse. Ross, on the DL since July 3 with right shoulder inflammation, struck out two and walked none. … IF Stephen Drew (vertigo-like symptoms) went 1 for 2 during a rehab appearance at Class A Potomac.
Braves: RHP Williams Perez (2-2, 4.62), who has not appeared in the majors since June 6 because of a rotator cuff strain, returns to the rotation and will face Washington for the first time this season. Snitker said Perez is unlikely to throw more than 100 pitches Tuesday.
Nationals: LHP Gio Gonzalez (10-9, 4.14) looks for his first win against the Braves this season. He has a 2.31 ERA in two starts against Atlanta.
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