WASHINGTON -- Daniel Murphy homered, doubled twice and tied career highs with five RBIs and four hits and the Washington Nationals defeated the St. Louis Cardinals 8-3 on Tuesday night.
Matt Wieters and Jayson Werth also hit solo shots to help Washington earn a second home series victory.
Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez (1-0) allowed two runs -- one earned -- over seven innings. He allowed six hits before retiring his last 11 batters.
Lance Lynn (0-1) allowed six runs -- four earned -- and five hits and four walks over five innings.
Randal Grichuk and Aldemys Diaz homered for St. Louis.
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Bryce Harper walked three times against Lynn to reach base in nine straight plate appearances going back to Monday, tying a career high set last season against the Chicago Cubs and manager Joe Maddon. He also doubled in the eighth.
Lynn hadn't allowed a hit when he walked Gonzalez on four pitches with one out in the third. After a fielding error and a walk to Harper loaded the bases, Murphy ripped a two out-single through the infield to give Washington a 2-1 lead.
Grichuk's homer tied it in the top of the fourth before Werth and Wieters went deep in the bottom of the inning. Then in the fifth, Lynn walked Harper for the third time before Murphy blasted a 1-2 changeup into the second deck in right to make it 6-2.
Murphy drove in Harper for a second time on an RBI double in the eighth.
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HOUSTON -- Matt Wieters hit a two-run homer, Howie Kendrick had a two-run triple and the Washington Nationals beat Houston for the ninth straight time, 4-3 Tuesday night in a matchup of division leaders.
Washington's winning streak over the Astros dates to 2012. The Nationals have won 13 of 14 against Houston since 2011.
Kendrick's triple tied it in the third before the Astros went back on top with an RBI single by Josh Reddick in the bottom half. Anthony Rendon doubled with two outs in the fourth before the homer by Wieters, which landed just to the right of straightaway center field, gave the NL East leaders a 4-3 lead.
Tanner Roark (10-8) allowed six hits and two earned runs in 5 2-3 innings and Sean Doolittle pitched a perfect ninth for his 15th save.
Charlie Morton (10-6) gave up four runs in six innings for the AL West-leading Astros.
The Astros threatened in the eighth against Brandon Kintzler when Josh Reddick and Yuli Gurriel hit consecutive singles and the Nationals intentionally walked Carlos Beltran with one out to load the bases. But Max Stassi grounded into a double play to leave Houston trailing.
George Springer led off the Houston first with a single, stole second and scored on a two-out single by Reddick.
Beltran doubled off the wall in left-center field in the second and scored on a single by Derek Fisher.
When Max Scherzer was a teenager, he didn't know that one day he'd actually become a two-time Cy Young Award winner. He had no guarantee he'd make it to the majors, much less play in five consecutive MLB All-Star games.
All he knew was that he had the option to go pro as a kid or go to college, and back then, the Nationals' ace needed a contingency plan in case baseball didn't work out. Fortunately for Scherzer, it did, but he doesn't regret going to college at the University of Missouri, telling Santana Moss on CSN's "Route 89" going to school was a no-brainer.
"It was actually a really easy decision," Scherzer told Moss. "When you get drafted out of high school, you're going to be going into the minor leagues, and that can take three to five or six years — multiple years — in the minor leagues, and you're forfeiting your right to further your education."
Scherzer was drafted in the 43rd round by the St. Louis Cardinals in 2003, but he opted to play for Mizzou for three years, which turned out to be a great decision. The Arizona Diamondbacks then drafted him in 2006 in the first round as the 11th overall pick.
"A lot of times when you sign out of high school, you don't make it to the major leagues," Scherzer continued. "So I realize that your education — that's your safety net.
"You need to further your education in college, and if you do get drafted out of college, you're in a much better position to try to chase your dreams because if it doesn't work out, you still have one year left of school and that's much easier to obtain rather than try to go through four years when you're not coming out of high school."
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