Scherzer does it all as Nats sweep D-backs

Scherzer does it all as Nats sweep D-backs

PHOENIX -- The Nationals had not swept a three-game series in more than a month until they completed their 8-3 victory Wednesday afternoon at Chase Field to finish off a three-game sweep of the D-backs.

Max Scherzer turned in another strong start, striking out 11 in eight innings while allowing three runs on four hits. The right-hander even added a two-run single at the plate to go along with solo homers from Trea Turner and Daniel Murphy for Washington's first series sweep since it took three from the Mets from June 27-29. The victory improved the Nats' lead in the National League East to a season-high seven games.

"To finish this road trip with a sweep and to finish this road trip 6-3 ... that's getting it done," Scherzer said. "It doesn't matter who you play, to be able to get road wins -- and especially road series wins -- is very important."

Nats showing signs of jelling after 6-3 trip

Yasmany Tomas and Jake Lamb homered for the second straight game for Arizona, but the D-backs continued their recent free fall. They have now lost 25 of the past 32 games. Zack Godley gave up four runs on eight hits in six innings while striking out seven.

"I didn't make a pitch, I threw a cutter that just ran in like a fastball and [Scherzer] put a good swing on it," Godley said of Scherzer's two-run single that pushed the score to 4-1. "You tip your hat to him, he put a good at-bat together. I just didn't make my pitch."

Hale on D-backs' 8-3 loss

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Scherzer stays dominant: Scherzer continued to build on what has been a stellar stretch. After finishing July with a 1.32 ERA and 39 strikeouts in five starts, he picked up where he left off, reaching double-digit strikeouts for the ninth time this season to tie him with Clayton Kershaw for the most such efforts this year.

"I did a lot of good things today, with mistakes, stuff I can learn and get better at," Scherzer said. "Trying to find some new ways to attack, and it backfired on me a couple times. But there's more good in this game that I can take away to keep going forward with. I've been working on my changeup, really trying to get that late action on it. And there were a couple pitches today where I could see it. I feel like that's something I can keep going forward with and really pitch with."

Scherzer strikes out 11

Double deja vu: Lamb and Tomas each homered for the second day in a row. After snapping a 3-for-39 skid with his sixth-inning homer on Tuesday night, Lamb went deep again in the sixth on Wednesday, his team-high 23rd blast of the season. Tomas homered in consecutive games for the first time in his career. He has six long balls in his last 11 games.

Tomas' solo home run

Turner displays his power: Turner, the Nationals' No. 2 prospect as rated by MLB Pipeline, has made an immediate impact on the team this season, mostly with his speed. He displayed a bit of power Wednesday afternoon, hammering a 451-foot solo homer as projected by Statcast™ in the third inning. The shot was the second longest by a Nationals player this season, trailing Wilson Ramos' 455-foot homer on July 24.

"It's in there. I think it's always been in there, it's just a matter of being consistent with it," Turner said. "When I try to hit home runs, it doesn't go very well for me, but I can. It's just a matter of working on it and getting good position and swinging at good pitches. When you get ahead in the count and swing at good pitches, that happens."

Statcast: Turner hammers one

Murphy -- who was named the NL Player of the Month for July -- added a solo homer in the sixth inning, his 21st of the season, extending his career high.

Murphy's solo home run

Bullpen woes: The D-backs entered Wednesday with a bullpen ERA of 7.13 over their previous 31 games. The struggles continued, and this time it was right-hander Jake Barrett who was unable to keep the deficit close late in the game. Barrett entered in the ninth attempting to keep the game at 4-3, but instead allowed four runs on two hits and three walks in two-thirds of an inning.

"I was just going out there trying to make my pitches and it just wasn't happening," Barrett said. "I was just trying to work my best." More >

Robinson's two-run single

QUOTABLE
"Well, we knew that this team's a little down ... so you got to finish them when they're down,"
-- Nats manager Dusty Baker, on sweeping the D-backs

WHAT'S NEXT
Nationals: The Nats head home for an off-day Thursday before they begin a three-game series with the Giants on Friday at 7:05 p.m. ET. Washington has not announced their starter yet for the game.

D-backs: After a day off on Thursday, the D-backs open a three-game series against the Brewers at Chase Field on Friday at 6:40 p.m. MST. Braden Shipley makes his home debut after logging the first two starts of his career on the road -- including his MLB debut in Milwaukee on July 25. He threw six scoreless innings against the Dodgers last time out for his first win. Shipley is Arizona's top prospect as ranked by MLBPipeline.com.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.

Jake Rill is a reporter for MLB.com based in Arizona.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.