Scherzer strikes out 10, leads Nationals over Mets 7-2

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Wieters put the Nationals in front in the third inning with a solo homer, and Michael Taylor homered in the next at-bat.

Harper and the Washington Nationals battered NY from the start, romping 8-3 Thursday night and reversing a recent slide by the NL East leaders. Manager Joe Maddon wasn't around to see the comeback - he was ejected in the first inning after Rizzo's drive into the Allegheny River was ruled a foul ball. The ball ricocheted out of the stands in a hurry and Bruce couldn't catch the rebound, the carom flying far onto the grass.

"It wasn't a moonshot".

Harper's 17th home run left the bat at 116.3 miles per hour, his hardest-hit ball since Statcast began tracking in 2015. Rendon has 12 homers on the season.

The night before it was Gio Gonzalez and his curveball that had the Mets shut down for 7.0 innings. Anthony Rendon added a two-run homer in the sixth and had three RBIs, Bryce Harper finished with three hits, including a run-scoring single in the eighth, as the Nationals improved to 5-0 at Citi Field this year. "Have to do your best not to lose on his day", Gonzalez said.

Patrick Corbin (6-6) gave up four runs - two earned - and five hits while striking out five in six innings to get the win.

The banged-up Mets lost more than a game. Earlier in the game, the former Gold Glover threw out Harper at the plate.

"That's kind of my thought".

"It's tough, a lot of key players are hurt, but we can't worry about that", Jose Reyes said.

Said Collins, "When he starts walking around the mound with those long strides, he's locked in". As many as pop up. "You want to come in here and try to get off on the right foot, especially (since) the Mets have been playing well".

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Taylor hit consecutive homers starting the third inning against Steven Matz (1-1).

Reyes' solo homer to begin the eighth inning gave the Mets their only run and at the time made it 4-1.

Indians 8, Twins 1: Carlos Carrasco pitched one-hit ball into the sixth, Jose Ramirez had three hits and Edwin Encarnacion homered as Cleveland beat pitching-thin Minnesota in Minneapolis.

Wilmer Flores and Rene Rivera homered for the Mets. He also drove in Alex Gordon with a two-out single in the fifth against Jesse Chavez (5-7). He hit safely in all 19 games vs. the Mets past year after they let him go the previous winter, and is now 41-104 (.394) with seven doubles, a triple, eight home runs and 28 RBIs in 26 career games against his former team. The Mets were believed to have the top staff in the National League and were ahead of the Nationals in that area, but we all know how the injury bug has provided one or more setbacks in their quest to overtake the defending divisional champions.

"I just have to have some better misses", Matz said.

Collins is the oldest manager in the manager, but not by much - he was born less than three weeks before Baker. In the first, he hit Cespedes on the knee with a change-up.

"If he knows he's going to throw that good of a slider, he should definitely shake me off and throw that good of a slider", Wieters said.

Nationals: LHP Matt Grace was recalled from Triple-A Syracuse for his fifth stint this season with Washington.

Straily (5-4) was coming off his second-shortest outing of the season, but he kept the Braves guessing most of the night, allowing just four hits and striking out eight in 6 1/3 innings. Scherzer induced three of them, matching a career high he set pitching for the Detroit Tigers in July 2010, after he collected five in his first 91⅔ innings this season. Saturday afternoon, righthander Stephen Strasburg will attempt to continue that dominance against the Mets and widen the lead.

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