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MLB Capsules: Washington Nationals’ Max Scherzer bests Chicago Cubs’ Jake Arrieta

UPDATED: Tue., June 27, 2017

Washington’s Trea Turner had four of the Montreal Expos/Nationals franchise record seven steals (Nick Wass / Associated Press)
Washington’s Trea Turner had four of the Montreal Expos/Nationals franchise record seven steals (Nick Wass / Associated Press)
Associated Press

WASHINGTON – Neither of the past two N.L. Cy Young Award winners had his best stuff, though Max Scherzer handled things much better than Jake Arrieta.

Scherzer allowed one run and two hits as the Washington Nationals knocked Arrieta out in the fifth inning on the way to a 6-1 victory Tuesday night. While Arrieta was slow to the plate and allowed seven stolen bases, Scherzer (9-5) threw a strong six innings, striking out six with no walks and retiring 16 of the final 17 batters he faced.

“I didn’t really have great fastball command tonight, but I was able to use my offspeed to kind of collect outs when I needed to and I didn’t walk anybody,” said Scherzer, who allowed an earned run in the first inning for the first time since April but was in command the rest of the night. “When we needed shutdown innings we got them.”

Arrieta (7-6), on the other hand, struggled with his control as he issued a season-high six walks and allowed five earned runs, getting the hook two batters into the fifth inning. The 2015 Cy Young winner hadn’t walked more than three batters in a game this season.

Manager Joe Maddon quipped that the Cubs “let the wrong guys on base,” but catcher Miguel Montero blamed Arrieta for all the steals.

“The reason why they were running left and right today because they know he was slow to the plate,” a visibly frustrated Montero said. “It really sucked because the stolen bases go to me, and when you really look at it, the pitcher doesn’t give me any time.”

Four of the Montreal Expos/Nationals franchise record seven steals came from speedy shortstop Trea Turner, who Arrieta called a “factor” any time he’s on.

“I don’t care who is behind the plate,” Arrieta said. “He’s a threat.”

Washington manager Dusty Baker said the team knew Arrieta was a pitcher to run on, and the result was a lot of small ball for a team accustomed to driving in runs with power. Washington center fielder Michael Taylor went 2 for 4 with two RBIs, and Scherzer washed out the RBI triple he allowed to Kris Bryant in the first by driving in a run with an infield single off Arrieta’s glove in the fourth.

When Scherzer was lifted after 93 pitches through six with a comfortable 6-1 lead, the Nationals’ beleaguered bullpen got three clean innings of relief from Enny Romero, Blake Treinen, Oliver Perez and Matt Albers.

RANGERS 2, INDIANS 1

CLEVELAND – Adrian Beltre hit his 450th home run, a solo drive in the ninth inning off Cody Allen that lifted the Rangers to the road win.

Beltre drove the first pitch from Allen (0-4) into the left-field bleachers. The third baseman moved into sole possession of 39th place on the career homer list.

Keone Kela (4-1) stranded a runner in the eighth. Matt Bush allowed Michael Brantley’s one-out single in the ninth while getting his 10th save.

Indians manager Terry Francona missed the game after his second trip to the hospital this month. Bench coach Brad Mills filled in for Francona, who is expected to return Wednesday.

MARLINS 6, METS 3

MIAMI – Ichiro Suzuki had a pinch-hit RBI single in the seventh inning to put Miami ahead, and Christian Yelich collected three hits for the Marlins.

Ichiro poked a pitch to the opposite field against Jerry Blevins for a 4-3 lead. The 43-year-old Ichiro leads the majors with 12 pinch hits.

Yelich added a two-run single in the seventh. Kyle Barraclough (4-1) got the win and A.J. Ramos pitched around a leadoff single in the ninth for his 13th save.

New York’s Robert Gsellman left with a strained left hamstring after he pulled up trying to beat out a grounder in the third inning. The injury-plagued Mets have already had five starting pitchers on the disabled list this year.

Curtis Granderson and Travis d’Arnaud homered for New York. Neil Ramirez (0-1) got the loss.

ORIOLES 3, BLUE JAYS 1

TORONTO – Kevin Gausman won for the first time in four starts, Mark Trumbo hit an RBI double and Baltimore earned its third straight win.

The Orioles improved to 8-2 against the Blue Jays this season. Toronto lost for the fifth time in seven games.

Gausman (4-7) allowed four hits in 5 1/3 scoreless innings. The right-hander was 0-3 with a 9.20 ERA over his previous three starts.

Brad Brach gave up a two-out homer to Troy Tulowitzki in the ninth but held on for his 14th save.

Toronto right-hander Joe Biagini (2-7) allowed three runs in 5 1/3 innings, losing for the fifth time in six starts.

RAYS 4, PIRATES 2 (10)

PITTSBURGH – David Freese misplayed a grounder at third base, allowing Steven Souza Jr. to score in the 10th inning and sending Tampa Bay to the victory.

With Souza at first base and no outs, Wilson Ramos hit a hard grounder off Felipe Rivero (3-2) that Freese missed while trying to backhand. Adeiny Hechavarria added a sacrifice fly, giving him two RBIs in his first game since being traded from the Miami Marlins on Monday.

Tommy Hunter pitched the 10th for his first save of the season.

The Pirates were no-hit through six innings by Alex Cobb, but Andrew McCutchen forced extra innings with a two-run double in the ninth.

TIGERS 5, ROYALS 3

DETROIT – J.D. Martinez and Miguel Cabrera homered for Detroit, and Justin Verlander pitched seven strong innings.

Verlander was down 3-0 before getting an out, but didn’t allow another run as the Tigers won their second straight after an eight-game losing streak. He gave up nine hits, struck out six and walked one.

Justin Wilson pitched the ninth for his seventh save.

Matt Strahm (2-5) gave up five runs and six hits in 3 2/3 innings for the Royals.

REDS 8, BREWERS 6

CINCINNATI – Joey Votto hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the fifth inning, helping the last-place Reds get the win.

Billy Hamilton, Adam Duvall and Eugenio Suarez also connected for Cincinnati, which scored its most runs in 19 games since Scooter Gennett hit four homers in its 13-1 win over St. Louis on June 6. Tim Adleman (5-4) pitched five innings and Raisel Iglesias got three outs for his 13th save.

Milwaukee slugger Ryan Braun returned after missing 31 games with a strained left calf, but the N.L. Central-leading Brewers lost for the third time in four games. Braun went 1 for 5 with a double.

Travis Shaw, Manny Pina and Orlando Arcia homered for Milwaukee. Junior Guerra (1-2) set a career high by allowing eight runs in four-plus innings.

DODGERS 4, ANGELS 0

LOS ANGELES – Kenta Maeda pitched four-hit ball over seven innings in a spot start, Joc Pederson hit a three-run homer and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Angels at Dodger Stadium.

Maeda (6-3) was moved to the bullpen earlier this month, but filled in Tuesday to give the rotation an extra day of rest. He dominated the Dodgers’ crosstown rival, striking out six with no walks on 92 pitches. His ERA dropped to 4.15.

Angels starter Jesse Chavez (5-8) was pulled in the sixth after working into a jam, and Cody Bellinger greeted reliever Jose Alvarez with an RBI single. Bellinger leads the Dodgers with 56 RBIs.

Pederson hit his seventh home run two batters later.

The Dodgers, who ended a 10-game winning streak Monday with a 4-0 loss against the Angels, have won 17 of their past 19 games and lead the National League with a 52-27 record.

BRAVES 3, PADRES 0

SAN DIEGO – Sean Newcomb struck out eight over six innings for his first major league victory, lifting the Atlanta Braves over the San Diego Padres.

Atlanta has won eight of 10. Johan Camargo had a two-run double off the left field wall in the fourth to begin the scoring, and Atlanta added an unearned run in the eighth.

Newcomb (1-2) made his major league debut June 10 and has a 1.48 ERA through four starts.

He issued one walk Tuesday and allowed six hits. The 24-year-old left-hander was a touted minor leaguer when Atlanta acquired him from the Los Angeles Angels in 2015 for Gold Glove shortstop Andrelton Simmons.

Padres starter Jhoulys Chacin (6-7) retired his final 10 batters, working seven innings for the third time in the past four starts.

Jim Johnson recorded his 16th save.

RED SOX 9, TWINS 2

BOSTON – Chris Young hit a three-run homer and Christian Vazquez homered for the first time in more than a year as the Boston Red Sox routed the Minnesota Twins in a game delayed twice by stormy weather.

Drew Pomeranz (7-4) pitched five innings, three after a 1 hour, 16 minute delay between the second and third as a thunderstorm slowly passed over Fenway Park. Despite the interruption, Pomeranz held the Twins to one unearned run and four hits, struck out seven and didn’t walk a batter.

Dustin Pedroia had three hits and scored twice and Xander Bogaerts had two hits and scored twice for the Red Sox as they won consecutive games for the first time in nearly two weeks.

The two rain delays totaled 2:06.

WHITE SOX 4, YANKEES 3

CHICAGO – Jose Abreu hit a game-ending, two-run single off Dellin Betances, and the Chicago White Sox stopped a four-game losing streak with a victory over the New York Yankees.

Kevan Smith sparked the winning rally with a one-out walk. Betances (3-2) then walked Alen Hanson and hit Yolmer Sanchez, loading the bases.

After Melky Cabrera fouled out, Abreu hit a grounder into left field. Brett Gardner’s throw to the plate was high, and Hanson scored easily.

Abreu also had an RBI double in the third. Dan Jennings (3-1) pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings for the win.

New York wasted an outstanding start by Luis Severino, who struck out a career-high 12 while pitching seven innings of one-run ball. It has dropped three of four and 11 of 14 overall.

ATHLETICS 6, ASTROS 4

HOUSTON – Ryon Healy’s first career grand slam broke a tie in the sixth inning and the Oakland Athletics held on for a victory over the Houston Astros.

The score was 1-1 when Matt Joyce singled to start the sixth. Jed Lowrie singled with one out before Yonder Alonso drew a walk with two outs to load the bases and chase Mike Fiers (5-3). He was replaced by James Hoyt, who was greeted with Healy’s 18th homer – a full-count shot which landed in the second row of the seats in right field to put the Athletics up 5-1.

Sean Manaea (7-4) allowed a season-high nine hits, but just one run in 5 2/3 innings for his first win over the Astros in seven starts.

The victory is the fourth straight for the Athletics and just their second against Houston in the last 17 games.

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