MLB.com Columnist

Bill Ladson

Scherzer delivers key hit during strong start

Righty strokes 2-run double, strikes out 7 over 7 IP vs. Phils

Scherzer delivers key hit during strong start

PHILADELPHIA -- Max Scherzer is known as a dominant pitcher on the mound, but he also contributed with his bat in the Nationals' 8-1 win over the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on Saturday night.

With the Nationals leading, 3-0, in the fourth inning and Wilson Ramos on second after hitting a two-out double off right-hander Aaron Nola, the Phillies decided to walk Danny Espinosa intentionally to face Scherzer.

But Scherzer foiled the strategy by doubling on an 0-1 pitch to deep right, scoring Ramos and Espinosa. Talk about turning the lineup over.

"I know the situation. That's my time to do something to help the team," Scherzer said.

Scherzer fans seven over seven

On the mound, Scherzer dominated Philadelphia. After allowing a single to Maikel Franco in the first, Scherzer retired 12 straight batters before allowing a solo home run to Cameron Rupp. The Phillies had runners in scoring position against Scherzer three times -- in the first, fifth and seventh innings -- but could not score.

"I didn't attack well, but I pitched well," Scherzer said. "I was falling behind a lot, but I issued only one walk. I found ways to get outs. I threw some good off-speed pitches when I needed to, especially early in the game. I thought they were going to come out aggressively against me, and I was right. I was able to negate that."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.