Nats' bats start fast as Scherzer tops D-backs

Nats' bats start fast as Scherzer tops D-backs

PHOENIX -- The Nationals scored 10 runs in the first two innings to provide more than enough support for ace Max Scherzer as Washington rolled to an 11-1 win over the D-backs on Monday night at Chase Field.

Scherzer (3-3) was outstanding in his first visit to Chase Field since being traded away by the D-backs, allowing one run on five hits and striking out six over seven innings. The Nats' offense gave its righty the early runs to work with thanks in part to a three-run homer by Ryan Zimmerman and a three-run double from Wilson Ramos.

"It was real nice, especially when [Denard Span] leads off with a bomb," Scherzer said about the Nationals jumping out to a 4-0 lead in the first on their way to winning for the 11th time in the last 13 games. "We put up that four-spot in the first and continue to put up runs in the second to make it a 10-0 game. It always feels good. You're teammates are playing well, and I was able to go out there and do my thing."

It was a rough start for Josh Collmenter, who allowed nine of the runs and saw his record fall to 3-4. The D-backs didn't get on the board until the sixth, when Jordan Pacheco hit his second homer of the year.

"They were constantly in good hitter's counts and were able to do some damage," Collmenter said.

Yunel Escobar had five hits -- all singles -- and scored twice as part of Washington's 15-hit attack. It was Escobar's second five-hit game of May.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
The second pitch: Nationals leadoff hitter Span hit Collmenter's second offering of the night out to right field. The Nats sent 17 guys to the plate during the first two innings and scored 10 runs on nine hits, including Zimmerman's three-run homer in the first.

Span's leadoff homer

Nuno saves 'pen: With the bullpen depleted after weekend games with the Padres, the D-backs were hoping Collmenter would pitch deep into the game. Instead he left after just 1 1/3 innings, and Vidal Nuno, who was called up earlier in the day, kept the bullpen from further depletion with a 6 2/3-inning effort in which he allowed two runs on seven hits and struck out eight Nationals. More >

Nuno fans eight in season debut

Scherzer returns triumphant: It was the right-hander's first game at Chase Field since Sept. 25, 2009, or about three months before the D-backs traded him to the Tigers in a three-way deal that also included the Yankees. It was Scherzer's second career start vs. the D-backs. He beat them, 3-1, at Comerica Park on June 20, 2010. More >

Scherzer's seven strong innings

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Escobar is the first Major League player to have five hits in games played one week apart since Ichiro Suzuki did it in his halcyon days with the Mariners in 2004, and the first National Leaguer to do it since San Francisco's Robby Thompson in 1993.

WHAT'S NEXT
Nationals: It's the second game of a three-game series and seven-game road trip when the Nationals resume their series in Arizona at 9:40 p.m. ET on Tuesday. After coming out of a start and missing another due to a back issue, Stephen Strasburg (2-3, 4.73 ERA) is slated to get the call.

D-backs: The D-backs will try and even the series with the Nationals on Tuesday night at 6:40 p.m. MST when they send Rubby De La Rosa to the mound. De La Rosa is riding a 10-inning scoreless streak.

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Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.