WASHINGTON — Max Scherzer struck out a season-high 11 to bounce back from his worst outing this season, and the Washington Nationals defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-2 on Thursday.
Scherzer (4-2) allowed one run and two hits in seven innings. He also was 2 for 3 at the plate, driving in Washington’s first run with a second-inning infield single that pitcher Braden Shipley could not pick up with his bare hand.
The NL Cy Young Award winner struck out the side in the fourth and the seventh, the only two innings he allowed a hit. He gave up Jake Lamb’s homer in the seventh.
In his previous outing, Scherzer gave up five runs on Travis d’Arnaud’s two homers in a 7-5 loss to the Mets last Friday.
Matt Albers pitched the eighth, Joe Blanton gave up Paul Goldschmidt’s leadoff homer in the ninth and Enny Romero finished the four-hitter for his second major league save. Washington won the three-game series and finished its homestand 3-3.
Shipley (0-1), making his first big league start this year after five outings at Triple-A, gave up three runs, five hits and six walks in four-plus innings, throwing just 49 of 92 pitches for strikes. The walks matched his career high.
Anthony Rendon hit a two-run double in the third that sailed over left fielder Chris Herrmann, who made a poor read.
Arizona optioned OF Jeremy Hazelbaker to make room for Shipley, who was recalled from Triple-A Reno.
Nationals: RHP Jacob Turner threw 54 pitches during a four-inning relief appearance Wednesday, and National manager Dusty Baker said RHP A.J. Cole is likely to make Saturday’s start.
Diamondbacks: OF David Peralta (illness) was a late scratch by manager Torey Lovullo. It was Peralta’s third straight game out of the lineup, but he pinch hit leading off the eighth and grounded out.
Nationals: RHP Shawn Kelley did not pitch in a save situation for a second consecutive game after Baker said late Wednesday the reliever had been dealing with an illness.
Diamondbacks: LHP Zack Griekne is to start Friday at Colorado, where he is 2-0 with a 4.26 ERA in eight appearances.
Nationals: RHP Stephen Strasburg (2-1, 3.09) is slated to start at Philadelphia after pitching at least seven innings in his first five starts for the first time in his big league career.
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