WASHINGTON -- The Nationals are starting to get healthy again and put on display what they are capable of if they get back to full strength. With the help of right-hander Max Scherzer and outfielder Jayson Werth, both fresh off the disabled list, Washington delivered an 11-2 drubbing of the surging Marlins on Monday night at Nationals Park.
Washington's offense plated double-digit runs for the 20th time this season -- most in the Majors -- powered by the return of Werth, who was playing in his first game since June 3. He went 2-for-4, launching a two-run homer in the fourth inning and singling during an 11-pitch at-bat in a six-run sixth.
"It was great to be back tonight, just to be a part of this club," Werth said. "These guys have been playing so good, and I want to be part of the machine, so to speak. It is exciting, I was excited obviously a little more emotional than usual."
Scherzer picked up where he left off before a neck injury halted his stellar season, limiting Miami to one run on five hits over seven innings while striking out 10 batters. He felt no discomfort in his neck and his lone mistake came in the fourth inning when Christian Yelich tagged him for a solo home run.
"We all know how good he is," Scherzer said. "Everybody knows he can take you deep at any moment. But you can't really worry about that. You got to have the belief that you can make pitches and get him out. It's a cat-and-mouse game at this point with him. He knows what I have and I know where I need to pitch it."
The Marlins remained 4 1/2 games behind the Rockies, who lost to the Tigers, for the second National League Wild Card spot. Miami was riding a four-game win streak and had won 13 of 16. The club's last four losses have all been by wide margins, with the Marlins being outscored, 36-7.
Right-hander Jose Urena, who came in 8-0 with a 4.05 ERA on the road, labored through four innings, giving up four runs on five hits. He struggled with command, walking three batters.
"It's a matter of us bouncing back," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "Our last few losses have been just like this, it seems like. Every one of them, it seems like, you get knocked around early. We take it on the chin and bounce back tomorrow. That's what you're planning on doing."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Kendrick for three: Leading 4-1 entering the sixth, the Nationals put some separation between them and the Marlins when a line drive off the bat of Howie Kendrick turned into a bases-clearing triple. With just a 7-percent catch probability, Yelich charged the ball, which got past him and rolled to the wall. The play helped pave the way for a six-run sixth.
"I think it's the right play for Yeli to try to make a play there," Mattingly said. "I think they don't score on that one, either, with Wieters at third. That one gets away, and the game goes from there."
Werth returns: The fans at Nationals Park were already ecstatic when Werth came to bat for the first time in nearly three months after sustaining a fractured left foot. When he launched his two-run homer in the fourth, the Nationals faithful worked themselves into a frenzy, as did Werth, who threw his bat toward the dugout and yelled.
"He hit that bomb, and old grandpa looked over at the dugout and gave a big scream, so you know he's back," Scherzer said. "It's fun to have him back doing what he can do."
The ball traveled 425 feet, according to Statcast™, making it his longest home run of the season, punctuated with a curtain call for the 20,838 in attendance. More >
"We were trying to throw a two-seamer on the corner, and it went over the middle and he put a pretty good swing on it," Urena said.
"[Marcell] Ozuna, obviously, stung the ball all night. Yeli looked good. But it was just one of those games, for us." -- Mattingly, on Ozuna's three hits and an RBI and Yelich's home run and a single
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS Ichiro Suzuki, who pinch-hit and popped out to short in the fifth inning, appeared in his 2,606th big league game. That ties him with Dwight Evans for 39th on Major League Baseball's all-time list, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
MORE REINFORCEMENTS ON THE WAY
The Nationals got more good news when Baker announced after the game that shortstop Trea Turner will be activated from the disabled list on Tuesday. Turner has been on the DL since June 29 with a non-displaced fracture in his right wrist.
"Slowly but surely," Werth said. "We've still got some time. We need to get this thing rolling and get the synergy to where we want it and get everybody rolling again. But [it] looks like that's gonna happen, so that's exciting." More >
WHAT'S NEXT Marlins:Vance Worley (2-3, 5.70 ERA) won back-to-back starts against the Nationals on Aug. 2 and Aug. 8 and is getting a third chance at 7:05 p.m. ET on Tuesday at Nationals Park. In those two meetings, Worley allowed one run in 13 innings.
Nationals:Edwin Jackson will face one of his former teams when he takes the mound against the Marlins on Tuesday. He has posted a 2.93 ERA in seven starts since taking over as the Nats' fifth starter.