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Daniel Murphy has career night as Nats knock off Cardinals

Daniel Murphy has career night as Nats knock off Cardinals

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.

RELATED: Watch Matt Wieters hit the first home run of his Nationals career

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.

RELATED: Nationals hang in top 10 of Forbes' most valuable MLB franchises

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Cubs catcher Miguel Montero to be designated for assignment after angry comments about Nats game

Cubs catcher Miguel Montero to be designated for assignment after angry comments about Nats game

The Washington Nationals were stealing bases all night long against the Chicago Cubs, swiping a total of seven bags in a 6-1 victory on Tuesday.

RELATED: TREA TURNER TIES FRANCHISE RECORD

Following the game, tensions were high for Cubs catcher Miguel Montero who quickly pointed the blame at pitcher Jake Arrieta for the stolen bases. 

Cubs star first baseman Anthony Rizzo addressed the situation, calling Montero "selfish."

Less than 24 hours later, Montero was designated for assignment. 

The Cubs have decided to call up Triple-A catcher Victor Caratini to replace Montero, according to ESPN's Buster Olney.

The Nats may have literally run Montero out of Chicago. 

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Trea Turner ties franchise record of stolen bases in single game with Nats 6-1 win over Cubs

Trea Turner ties franchise record of stolen bases in single game with Nats 6-1 win over Cubs

WASHINGTON -- Neither of the past two NL 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."

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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.

Trea Turner tied the franchise record with four steals in a game, repeating his own feat from two weeks ago. He had a chance in the eighth to break the record and move within one of the most in a game in the modern era of baseball but did not try with Bryce Harper up and a five-run lead.

"I don't think I was held, but I didn't know if I was supposed to go," said Turner, who has 32 stolen bases this season.