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Former Nationals minor leaguer shuts out Washington

Former Nationals minor leaguer shuts out Washington

MIAMI -- Vance Worley pitched seven innings and faced the minimum number of batters to earn his first victory since May 2016, helping the Miami Marlins beat the Washington Nationals 7-0 on Wednesday.

Worley (1-2) allowed only two hits, and both baserunners were erased on double play grounders hit by Bryce Harper. Worley lowered his ERA from 6.42 to 5.31 while facing the highest-scoring team in the National League.

Dee Gordon tripled, singled twice, scored three times, drove in a run, stole two bases and made an acrobatic defensive play. Gordon extended his hitting streak to 13 games, matching his career high.

Teammates Christian Yelich and Derek Dietrich hit two-run homers. Right fielder Giancarlo Stanton leaped at the wall to rob Brian Goodwin of a home run for the final out to preserve a four-hit shutout.

By taking the rubber game of the three-game set, the Marlins have won four consecutive series for the first time since late 2015. They're still 12 games behind the NL East-leading Nationals, however.

Worley, making his sixth start of the season, retired the final 11 batters he faced in his longest outing in more than a year. Second baseman Gordon and center fielder Christian Yelich helped Worley with terrific plays.

Washington's A.J. Cole (1-1), recalled from Triple-A to make his second start of the year, allowed five runs in six innings.

Harper went 0 for 3, ending his 12-game hitting streak. Washington totaled only seven runs in the series against Miami's injury-ravaged pitching staff.

Newly acquired reliever Brandon Kintzler made his Nationals debut and retired all four batters he faced with two strikeouts.

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Why Nationals' Max Scherzer picked college over pros — at first

Why Nationals' Max Scherzer picked college over pros — at first

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."

MORE NATIONALS: Stephen Strasburg returns to the mound

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Nationals offense provides no support in Strasburg's return

Nationals offense provides no support in Strasburg's return

SAN DIEGO -- Yangervis Solarte hit a two-run home run off Stephen Strasburg in the first inning of the right-hander's first start in almost a month and the San Diego Padres beat the Washington Nationals 3-1 Saturday night.

Strasburg (10-4) retired the first two batters he faced before allowing a single to Jose Pirela and then the homer to the switch-hitting Solarte, who drove a 96-mph fastball to right for his 13th.

Strasburg then settled down against his hometown team, retiring 10 straight batters and 13 of 14. He went six innings, allowing two runs and four hits while striking out eight and walking one.

He hadn't pitched since July 23, when he went only two innings at Arizona. He went on the disabled list with an elbow nerve impingement.

Strasburg pitched at West Hills High in suburban Santee and then at San Diego State for coach Tony Gwynn before going to the Nationals with the No. 1 pick overall in the 2009 draft.

While Strasburg pitched well, the Nationals had only three hits.

San Diego's Travis Wood (2-1) also settled down after laboring through the first inning, when he threw 35 pitches but didn't allow a run. He was unscathed until the fifth, when he allowed a one-out single to Jose Lobaton and a two-out double to Adrian Sanchez. The run was unearned because of Woods' throwing error on Strasburg's sacrifice bunt that advanced Lobaton.

Wood allowed just the unearned run on three hits in seven innings, with two strikeouts and two walks.

Brad Hand pitched the ninth for his 11th save.