Recap Phi at Was
Washington, DC (SportsNetwork.com) - Bryce Harper's three-run homer backed a strong start from Max Scherzer as the Washington Nationals downed the Philadelphia Phillies 7-2 in the second installment of a four-game series.
Scherzer (1-1) picked up his first win in a Nationals uniform by throwing eight innings of one-run ball. The offseason acquisition scattered four hits, struck out nine and did not issue a walk.
"He's hard to get a hold off," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said. "It's hard for guys to zone in and get a handle on him."
Danny Espinosa hit a solo homer, and Ryan Zimmerman added a two-run double for Washington, which has won three straight following a slow 2-6 start.
Philadelphia's offense struggled again, producing only two runs on a Freddy Galvis groundout in the third inning and a Ryan Howard single in the ninth.
The Phillies have scored just 13 runs during a six-game skid.
The Nationals jumped on Sean O'Sullivan (0-1) early as Yunel Escobar led off the home first with a single and Ian Desmond was hit by a pitch. Harper fell behind 1-2 before crushing a hanging breaking ball deep to center field for his third home run of the season.
"I was trying to look for a pitch over the plate and not miss," Harper said. "I finally connected with something and put a good swing on it."
O'Sullivan caught took much of the plate when facing Espinosa leading off the fourth, and Espinosa hammered the 2-1 sinker that didn't sink to roughly the same spot as Harper's blast.
Washington tacked on three more runs against the Phillies' bullpen in the seventh, as Zimmerman hit a two-run double off Jake Diekman and scored on an error by Chase Utley.
Scherzer retired 11 of the last 12 hitters he faced. The only baserunner came on a Desmond error in the seventh.