Max Scherzer struck out nine in seven strong innings and Brian Dozier hit a two-run home run for his 1,000th career hit to lead the Washington Nationals to a 4-1 victory against the San Diego Padres on Saturday night.
Scherzer (4-5) allowed six hits and issued only one walk, an intentional pass.
He got into trouble in only one inning, when the Padres had runners on second and third with one out in the second. Eric Hosmer broke for home on Ian Kinsler’s grounder to third and was caught in a rundown. Rookie Austin Allen was intentionally walked to load the base and Lauer struck out to end the inning.
Sean Doolittle got the final out for his 14th save.
Dozier, who signed with the Nationals as a free agent in January, homered to left off Eric Lauer in fourth, his 10th. Howie Kendrick was aboard on a leadoff walk.
Kendrick and Anthony Rendon added RBI singles off Eric Lauer for the Nationals, who lost the first two games of this series by identical 5-4 scores.
Lauer (5-5) had won three straight starts coming in. He allowed four runs, three earned, on seven hits in seven innings and struck out five.
The Padres’ first-round draft pick, SS C.J. Abrams of Blessed Trinity High in Roswell, Georgia, agreed to a $5.2 million bonus. He and three other draft picks threw ceremonial first pitches.
Nationals: RHP Trevor Rosenthal returned from a rehab assignment and was reinstated from the 10-day IL. RHP Kyle McGowin was optioned to Triple-A Fresno to make room on the roster.
Padres: C Austin Hedges was a late scratch with a sprained left ankle. … Rookie SS Fernando Tatis got the night off after having two big games in his return from the injured list. … RHP Adam Warren was placed on the 10-day IL with a strained right forearm strain and RHP Gerardo Reyes was recalled from Triple-A El Paso. INF Jose Pirela was reinstated from the IL and optioned to El Paso.
Nationals: RHP Stephen Strasburg (5-3, 3.19) is scheduled to start the series finale against his hometown team. He is 3-1 with a 3.12 ERA in four career starts in San Diego. He played at San Diego State under the late Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn.
Padres: Were to announce their Sunday starter after Saturday night’s game.
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports