Span and Zimmerman homer, Nationals rout Diamondbacks 11-1
PHOENIX (AP) — Denard Span hit the second pitch into the right-field seats, and the Washington Nationals were off and rolling.
Actually, they’ve been rolling for some time now.
Ryan Zimmerman also homered in the first inning and the Nationals routed the Arizona Diamondbacks 11-1 Monday night for their fifth straight victory and 11th in 13 games.
“We have a good thing going. It keeps you hungry,” said Max Scherzer, who allowed a run in seven innings. “You know you can come to the park and win. We’re winning series and that’s the most important part. We’ve won four series in a row and we have a chance to win this one as well.”
The Nationals, coming off a weekend sweep of Atlanta, scored 10 runs in the first two innings, nine off starter Josh Collmenter (3-4).
“We’ve had some games where we’ve created some opportunities early and got one, maybe two,” manager Matt Williams said. “Tonight we got big hits.”
Yunel Escobar had his second career five-hit game, both in the past week.
“It’s not me, it’s the bat that I’m using right now,” he joked through a translator at his locker. “My bat’s sleeping in that bag right there.”
Scherzer (3-3) shut out the Diamondbacks before giving up a home run to Jordan Pacheco in the sixth. The former Arizona first-round draft pick, pitching at Chase Field for the first time since he was traded to Detroit after the 2009 season, allowed five hits in seven innings. He struck out six, walked one and even had two of the Nationals’ 15 hits.
“A tough one to watch,” Arizona manager Chip Hale said. “I feel bad for the fans. It was over early, but it just counts for one loss.”
Washington has scored a combined two runs in Scherzer’s three losses, and 25 in his three wins.
The right-hander was hit in the left hamstring by a sharp one-hopper in the first inning.
“It hurt, but it wasn’t injured,” he said. “That’s the difference.”
Wilson Ramos hit a three-run double in a six-run second.
After his torrid week, Nationals slugger Bryce Harper was relatively quiet, going 1 for 4 with an RBI single.
The Nationals got their third leadoff homer of the season — by three different batters — when Span knocked Collmenter’s 1-0 pitch into the stands.
Then it got much worse for the Arizona starter.
Harper narrowly missed a home run, but Zimmerman didn’t. He sent Collmenter’s 2-1 delivery to left and it was 4-0.
Collmenter allowed a career-worst nine runs and eight hits in 1 1-3 innings.
“The fastball command, it is the beginning of everything I do well,” he said. “Tonight it was up in the zone and flat. When it is like that it is pretty easy to hit, as evidenced tonight.”
Arizona right-hander Archie Bradley threw about 60-65 pitches before the game, facing batters for the first time since being hit in the face by a line drive on April 28. He said he is ready to return to the rotation Saturday night at Philadelphia.
“It went well,” Bradley said. “I had a couple hit back at me, obviously a little scary but didn’t flinch, got right back up there.”
Bradley somehow escaped serious injury despite Carlos Gonzalez’s liner striking his right cheek after being hit at more than 100 mph. The severe swelling was gone Monday. The only trace of what happened was a little black lingering beneath his right eye.
The rookie is 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA in four starts.
Nationals: After leaving Sunday’s game with a stomach ache, Escobar was back in the lineup. ... Right-handed reliever Casey Janssen had his second rehab outing Sunday for Class A Potomac. He allowed three runs, one earned, and three hits in one inning. He threw nine pitches in a 1-2-3 inning in his initial appearance Thursday.
Diamondbacks: LHP Patrick Corbin, coming back from Tommy John surgery, pitched 3 1-3 innings in an extended spring training game. He threw 54 pitches, allowing two runs and four hits. He struck out five and walked two. Corbin is slated to make two more extended spring training starts, then report to Class A Visalia.
Nationals: RHP Stephen Strasburg left his previous outing in the third inning and had his scheduled start pushed back a day to Tuesday. Strasburg said he’s fine. It’s his fourth start at Chase Field, where he is 2-1 with a 2.70 ERA.
Diamondbacks: RHP Rubby De La Rosa has a 10-inning scoreless streak going into the game. He blanked San Diego through seven innings in his last start with seven strikeouts.