Max Scherzer pitched six strong innings and Yan Gomes hit a pair of home runs to help the visiting Washington Nationals end their four-game losing streak with a 9-4 win over the Atlanta Braves on Sunday.
Scherzer (10-5) allowed only one run on two hits, two walks and struck out nine to help the Nationals salvage one game out of the important four-game series with the National League East-leading Braves. It helped the Nationals avoid their first four-game sweep to Atlanta.
The victory enabled Washington to trim Atlanta’s lead to nine games and hold the Braves’ magic number at 13. Atlanta’s season-best nine-game winning streak ended, as did its 13-game home winning streak, the best in franchise history for the modern era.
Gomes hit a solo home run in the second inning and added another solo shot in the seventh, giving him nine this season. He went 2-for-5 and sparked the team’s 17-hit attack.
The Nationals struck for four runs against Atlanta ace Mike Soroka (11-4), who worked six innings and allowed four runs on seven hits — three of them homers — along with one walk and seven strikeouts.
Washington entered the game having scored only one run against Atlanta starters in the first three games of the series. That ended quickly in the opening frame when Adam Eaton, the game’s second batter, launched a two-run homer, his 13th.
Atlanta cut the lead to 3-1 in the bottom of the second on a solo shot from Matt Joyce, his seventh.
But Washington got the run back in the third when Juan Soto clubbed a solo homer, his 33rd.
The Nationals put the game away with four runs in the seventh inning. Gomes began the rally with a home run. Eaton doubled home a run and Asdrubal Cabrera followed with a two-run double. Cabrera, who was 4-for-5, drove home another run with a single in the ninth.
The Braves scored three times in the ninth against reliever Javy Guerra. Charlie Culberson hit a solo homer, his fifth, Francisco Cervelli drove in a run with a ground-rule double and Adam Duvall added an RBI single.