Scherzer tells Martinez keep me in, Nats beat Reds 4-1

CINCINNATI — Max Scherzer had given up a leadoff double to Tucker Barnhart leading off in the eighth, then retired José Peraza on a popup and fanned Nick Senzel. The nine-pitch at-bat pushed the three-time Cy Young Award winner’s pitch count to a season-high 117.

With Joey Votto coming to the plate, Washington manager Dave Martinez walked to the mound. Scherzer shook his head and said he wanted to stay in.

“I’ve got to hear it from him,” Martinez said. “He’d thrown a lot of pitches. We exchanged some non-professional words.”

Scherzer struck out Votto on three straight called strikes, freezing him with a 97 mph fastball on the low, outside corner. Scherzer screamed and pumped a fist, spit flying out of his mouth after his 15th strikeout — his most since May 2018. The Nationals held on for a 4-1 win Sunday.

“I knew I was strong,” Scherzer said. “I still had my arm strength. I knew I wanted to stay in.”

Scherzer (3-5) allowed three hits — all doubles — over eight innings to lead the Nationals to their 12th win in 14 games against the Reds. What was his message to Martinez?

“I’d rather not say,” the manager responded with a smile.

Scherzer reached double figures in strikeouts for the fourth time in 13 starts this season and 86th time in his career, the most among active pitchers and seventh-most overall. He retired 13 of his last 14 batters.

“It seems like Scherzer has seven pitches and he can tunnel all of them,” Barnhart said. “He sequences them very well. You really have to grind out at bats against him.”

Sean Doolittle pitched a perfect ninth for his 12th save in 14 chances. Washington won the final two games of the series after losing the opener and has won seven of nine following a five-game losing streak.

Sonny Gray (2-5) needed 32 pitches to get through the first and gave up two runs and five hits in five innings.

Cincinnati batters struck out 16 times, tying their season high.

Anthony Rendon had three hits, including an RBI single in the first, and raised his average to .331.

Kurt Suzuki doubled the lead with an RBI double in the fourth, but Votto and Derek Dietrich hit consecutive doubles in the bottom half off Scherzer, who had pitched 15 scoreless innings at Great American Ballpark in his career.

Brian Dozier hit a two-run single with two outs in the eighth off Raisel Iglesias.


Martinez said Nationals have signed RHP Fernando Rodney to a minor league contract and the 42-year-old will report to Triple-A Fresno. The two-time All-Star closer was designated for assignment by Oakland on May 25. He is 48-68 with a 3.79 ERA and 325 saves.


The Reds on Sunday wore replicas of the uniforms worn by the 1919 World Series champions, one of 15 throwback outfits the team will wear this season while celebrating the 150th anniversary of baseball’s first professional team.


Votto’s fourth-inning double was the 382nd, breaking a tie with Johnny Bench for fourth place on Cincinnati’s career list. Davey Concepcion is third with 389.


Votto barehanded Victor Robles’s spinning one-hopper to first that took a bad bounce to his right and flipped to Gray covering for a run-saving out to end the fourth inning.


Nationals: 1B Ryan Zimmerman, out since April 28 with plantar fasciitis in his right foot, is to be evaluated Monday.

Reds: Jesse Winker was hit by a pitch on the right foot leading off the second inning. He stayed in the game.


Nationals: RHP Stephen Strasburg (5-3, 3.19) is scheduled to start Tuesday against the visiting Chicago White Sox in Washington’s first interleague series this season.

Reds: RHP Luis Castillo (5-1, 2.45) is to start Tuesday’s series opener at St. Louis.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

New highway to B.C. proposed

The Howse Pass shortcut to British Columbia is worth taking another look… Continue reading

Red Deer RCMP execute search warrant

Heavy police presence on Nash Street

Health care coalition calls on government for pharmacare funding in next budget

OTTAWA — A coalition of 150 health care organizations and non-profits is… Continue reading

Telus and affiliates tell customers they’ve already met Liberal rate-cut pledge

OTTAWA — One of Canada’s major mobile service providers appears to have… Continue reading

Five things to watch for in the Canadian business world in the coming week

TORONTO — Five things to watch for in the Canadian business world… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Feb. 6 A Perogie Supper is being held Thursday, Feb. 6 from… Continue reading

Canadian snowboarder Blouin wins World Cup gold in women’s slopestyle

CALGARY — Laurie Blouin couldn’t wipe the smile off her face after… Continue reading

Alberta skip Laura Walker’s change of heart gets her to first Hearts

MOOSE JAW, Sask. — Laura Walker wasn’t going to curl with a… Continue reading

Catherine Reitman says there’s a ‘real hunger’ for shows like ‘Workin’ Moms’

TORONTO — Some six years ago, when Catherine Reitman was creating her… Continue reading

Museum’s Rembrandt knockoff turns out to be the real thing

ALLENTOWN, Pa. — Thanks to modern technology and some expert detective work,… Continue reading

Woman loses 50 pairs of shoes after boyfriend accidentally donates them to thrift store

Cassandra Converse can’t wait to go shoe shopping. Last month, Converse’s boyfriend… Continue reading

RDC Queens fall in double OT to MacEwan University Griffins

Griffins 4 Queens 3 (2OT) The RDC Queens managed to salvage a… Continue reading

Trump takes Daytona 500 warmup lap in presidential limousine

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — President Donald Trump gave an election-year embrace to… Continue reading

Most Read