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MLB capsules: Max Scherzer steals second, throws fifth shutout

Washington Nationals’ Max Scherzer, right, takes a breather after stealing second base in the seventh inning of a baseball game against Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park, Monday, April 9, 2018, in Washington. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais / Associated Press)
Washington Nationals’ Max Scherzer, right, takes a breather after stealing second base in the seventh inning of a baseball game against Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park, Monday, April 9, 2018, in Washington. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais / Associated Press)
Associated Press

Max Scherzer stole the first base of his professional career and allowed only two singles in his fifth big league shutout, and the Washington Nationals ended a five-game losing skid while getting back to .500 with a 2-0 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Monday night in Washington.

Scherzer (2-1), the winner of the past two N.L. Cy Young Awards, did not let the Braves push a runner beyond first base. Kurt Suzuki got a hit in the second, and Nick Markakis did in the fifth, but neither advanced.

Scherzer managed to get farther than that: He swiped second after singling off reliever Peter Moylan in the seventh.

Howie Kendrick delivered all the offense Washington needed with a two-run double.

Scherzer struck out 10 and walked none in his ninth complete game in 299 major league starts. And he needed only 102 pitches, a far more efficient outing than his previous time on the mound: He threw 110 over five innings in a 7-1 loss at Atlanta on April 4.

Julio Teheran (0-1) went six innings for the Braves, and the only damage came on Kendrick’s shot that hugged the left-field line with two outs in the first inning. That brought home Anthony Rendon, who also had doubled, and Bryce Harper, who walked.

Brewers 5, Cardinals 4 (10): In his St. Louis debut, Greg Holland walked four batters in the 10th inning and forced home the go-ahead run as Milwaukee defeated the Cardinals in St. Louis.

The 32-year-old Holland, who tied for the N.L. lead with 41 saves for Colorado last season, was signed as a free agent on opening day. He pitched two innings at Class A before joining the Cardinals earlier in the day.

Holland (0-1) walked two batters to begin the 10th. After a sacrifice bunt, an intentional walk loaded the bases. The three-time All-Star closer then walked Orlando Arcia and was pulled.

Matt Albers (2-0) gave up the tying run in the ninth. The Cardinals loaded the bases with no outs, and Dexter Fowler’s sacrificed fly tied it at 4.

Brewers newcomer Lorenzo Cain tripped over the foot of Cardinals first baseman Jose Martinez on a play in the ninth, and both exited. Martinez bruised his right Achilles.

Diamondbacks 2, Giants 1: Zack Godley pitched seven scoreless innings, Paul Goldschmidt had an RBI triple and Arizona defeated the Giants in San Francisco.

The Diamondbacks won for the sixth time in seven games and matched the best start in franchise history through 10 games. They’re 8-2 for the first time since 2008.

Godley (2-0) struck out nine and allowed four hits and no walks. He’s allowed just one run in 14 innings this season.

Goldschmidt tripled to right-center off Giants starter Derek Holland (0-2), highlighting a two-run first inning. A.J. Pollock’s sacrifice fly scored Goldschmidt.

Royals 10, Mariners 0: Jakob Junis carried a no-hit bid into the seventh inning, Kansas City scored more runs than it had in its last six games combined, defeating Seattle in Kansas City, Missouri.

Junis (2-0) hit three batters and walked two, but the quick-working right-hander did not allow a hit until Daniel Vogelbach’s grounder up the middle with one out in the seventh.

Junis finished up the inning without any more trouble, running his scoreless streak to 14 innings to start the season.

After Seattle pulled starter Marco Gonzales (1-1), Mike Moustakas homered in the eighth off infielder Taylor Motter.

Astros 2, Twins 0: Justin Verlander struck out nine over seven dominant innings, and Carlos Correa had two hits and scored twice in Houston’s win over Minnesota in Minneapolis.

Verlander (2-0) was in control throughout on a chilly night with a first-pitch temperature of 35 degrees. The right-hander gave up three hits and walked one while helping the reigning World Series champions match their best 11-game start by going 9-2. Verlander improved to 11-1 in 14 games, including the playoffs, since being traded to Houston last season.

Ken Giles earned his first save of the season by getting Byron Buxton to ground out with a runner on third in the ninth.

Twins reliever Taylor Rogers (1-1) allowed a leadoff double to Correa in the sixth after coming in for starter Lance Lynn. Correa scored from third on rookie J.D. Davis’ liner to left field off reliever Trevor Hildenberger.

Mets 4, Marlins 2: Noah Syndergaard allowed one earned run in six innings and visiting New York won its sixth consecutive game to match the best start in team history.

The winning streak is the Mets’ longest since September 2016, and they improved to 8-1.

Jeurys Familia escaped a jam to pitch a scoreless ninth and earn his fifth save, most in the majors.

The announced crowd of 7,003 – most of them rooting for the Mets – was by far the smallest in the seven-season history of Marlins Park. The Marlins now announce attendance based on only tickets sold, a change from the previous ownership regime.

Syndergaard (2-0) had less than his best stuff but stranded four runners in scoring position. Four relievers combined to shut out Miami over the final three innings, lowering the team ERA to 2.25.

Adrian Gonzalez and Jay Bruce each had an RBI single off Marlins ace Jose Urena (0-2), who allowed three runs in five innings.

Blue Jays 7, Orioles 1: Steve Pearce homered in a third successive game, Josh Donaldson tacked on a ninth-inning grand slam and Toronto beat Baltimore before 7,915 fans, the lowest paid crowd in Camden Yards history.

Gametime temperature was 44 degrees, and a slight mist made the conditions even more miserable. That contributed to a dubious attendance record at the 27-year-old ballpark that had held since April 12, 2010, when 9,129 showed up for a game between the Orioles and Tampa Bay.

Pearce put Toronto up 2-0 in the third with a two-run shot off Dylan Bundy (0-1) on a 3-0 pitch. It marked the first time in his career that Pearce, who’s had three separate stints with the Orioles, homered in three consecutive games.

J.A. Happ (2-1) struck out nine in six innings, allowing one run and five hits.

Angels 8, Rangers 3: Albert Pujols hit his 616th career homer, Martin Maldonado had two RBI singles along with an evasive move to score a run and Los Angeles extended its best start in more than three decades, defeating Texas in Arlington, Texas.

The Angels are 8-3 for the first time since 1987 and fourth time in franchise history. Shohei Ohtani, the rookie two-way standout who was chosen AL Player of the Week, didn’t play a day after striking out 12 in seven scoreless innings against Oakland.

Jose Alvarez (1-0) retired the only two batters he faced after Angels starter Garrett Richards walked the bases loaded with one out in the fifth. Richards also struck out six in his 4 1-3 innings.

Doug Fister (1-2) struck out five with no walks while allowing three runs in his five innings.

Indians 2, Tigers 0: Corey Kluber (1-1) struck out 13, pitching two-hit ball for eight innings and leading Cleveland’s victory over visiting Detroit in snow flurries.

The temperature at first pitch was 33 degrees, one above Progressive Field’s record low set Sunday. There were flurries before the game and again in the seventh inning, resulted in a crowd of 9,843.

Andrew Miller worked the ninth for his first save of the season, getting Miguel Cabrera on a game-ending double play.

Bradley Zimmer hit a two-run homer in the fifth off Francisco Liriano (1-1) as Cleveland’s offense struggled again but used the long ball to win for the second straight day.

Phillies 6, Reds 5: Pinch-hitter Nick Williams hit a tiebreaking solo homer in the eighth inning to lift Philadelphia over visiting Cincinnati.

Scott Kingery homered for the first time in his career, and Rhys Hoskins also went deep for the Phillies.

Tucker Barnhart hit a two-run homer for the Reds.

Williams drove one deep into the right-center field seats off Kevin Quackenbush (0-1) for his first career pinch-hit homer. Luis Garcia (1-1) tossed a scoreless inning in relief and Hector Neris finished for his first save.

Padres 7, Rockies 6: Pitcher Clayton Richard homered into the second deck at Coors Field and San Diego weathered Carlos Gonzalez’s disputed home run to defeat Colorado in Denver.

Richard connected for his third career homer as part of a five-run fourth inning, driving the first pitch he saw from Jon Gray (1-2) above the Rockies bullpen in right-center. Carlos Asuaje followed Richard with a home run.

Richard (1-1) allowed four runs in five innings. Brad Hand struck out the side in the ninth for his third save.

Ian Desmond, Chris Iannetta and Gonzalez homered for the Rockies. Gonzalez’s two-run drive came in the sixth off Jordan Lyles, pulled the Rockies within 7-6 and led to the ejection of Padres manager Andy Green.

Left fielder Cory Spangenberg made a leaping attempt at the wall and actually had the ball in his glove for an instant, even as a fan tried simultaneously to make a barehanded catch. The fan appeared to make some contact with the glove but backed his hands away as Spangenberg dropped back to the ground.

Rays 5, White Sox 4: Mallex Smith matched a career high with four hits, Joey Wendle hit his first homer and Tampa Bay stopped an eight-game losing streak, defeating the White Sox at Chicago.

A bullpen that blew late leads in two of the three games at Boston last weekend got the job done after a shaky start by Chris Archer (1-0). Alex Colome escaped a second-and-third jam in the ninth by getting three straight groundouts, retiring Leury Garcia on a game-ending bouncer to first.

Miguel Gonzalez (0-2) gave up four runs and eight hits in 4 1/3 innings.

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