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Max Scherzer overpowers Giancarlo Stanton in first return since neck injury

Max Scherzer overpowers Giancarlo Stanton in first return since neck injury

WASHINGTON -- A one-sided win for the Washington Nationals still included two impressive comebacks.

Max Scherzer overpowered Giancarlo Stanton in his return from a neck injury, Jayson Werth homered in his first game since June and the Nationals beat the Miami Marlins 11-2 on Monday night.

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Scherzer (13-5) allowed one run and five hits, including Christian Yelich's home run, and had 10 strikeouts in his first start since Aug. 13.

Jayson Werth returned from a foot contusion he suffered on June 5 and had a two-run homer off Jose Urena (12-6).

"It was a great comeback," Nationals manager said of Werth. "You couldn't have drawn it up any better than that."

Scherzer's game plan worked spectacularly against Stanton, who on Monday was named NL Player of the Week for the second time this month. One day after becoming the first NL player to hit 50 home runs in a season since Prince Fielder in 2007, the slugger went 0 for 3 against Scherzer with two strikeouts and a double-play grounder.

Howie Kendrick hit a three-run triple, and Matt Wieters added a two-run single in the decisive sixth for an 11-1 lead as Washington halted Miami's four-game winning streak.

The Marlins have won 13 of 17, with the four losses by an average of 7.25 runs.

"It was just one of those games for us," manager Don Mattingly said. "It's just a matter of us bouncing back. Our last few losses have been just like this, it seems like."

Stanton batted .448 (13 for 29) with five homers and 11 RBIs last week.

"He can take you deep at any moment, but you can't really worry about that," Scherzer said. "You have to have the belief that you can make pitches and get him out."

The two-time Cy Young award winner missed two starts with inflammation in the left side of his neck. Scherzer threw 100 pitches, struck out at least 10 batters for the 14th time this season and lowered his ERA against the Marlins to 1.17 over four starts.

Werth, 38, missed 75 games after fouling a ball off his foot at Oakland. He was activated Monday from the 60-day DL following a six-game rehab assignment. His blast in the fourth put Washington up 4-1 after Miami scored in the top half of the inning on Yelich's homer.

Werth later singled as Washington loaded the bases in the sixth against reliever Dustin McGowan. All three scored after Yelich misplayed Kendrick's sinking liner and the ball scooted to the wall.

Urena threw 94 pitches in four innings, allowing four runs and five hits with three walks. The right-hander was 3-0 with 2.95 ERA in four previous starts this month.

Miami entered the series 4 1/2 games behind Colorado for the second wild card spot.

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Max Scherzer thoroughly enjoyed the All-Star experience in D.C.

Max Scherzer thoroughly enjoyed the All-Star experience in D.C.

All-Star Weekend is entertaining for fans and provides and much-needed break in the 162-game MLB season.

It’s not all just for fun, though. Following his start Tuesday night, Max Scherzer shared the benefits of being able to spend a few days sharing a locker room with players from across the league.

Being in the clubhouse, talking to veterans, talking to guys who have been here, getting to know everybody, getting the personalities, you can actually learn a lot from the other players in the league. They’re watching you, they’re watching your team and you get these conversations and it’s great. You’re talking about everybody and you find little things in the game that make them successful and what made you successful and see if you can get better.

Scherzer also didn’t hold back when talking about how great a job the city and his team did hosting the rest of the league. This is his sixth season as an All-Star, so he's speaking from quite a bit of experience.

It was awesome, what an atmosphere. I thought we were a great host team, all the other players in here loved the facilities and the treatment they received - D.C. did it right.

So according to Max Scherzer, the All-Star Game is great, but All-Star Weekend in D.C. is as good as it gets.

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All-Star effort once again proves Washington, D.C. is, in fact, a sports city

All-Star effort once again proves Washington, D.C. is, in fact, a sports city

It’s been an exciting summer for sports in the nation’s capital. 

The Caps won the Stanley Cup for the first time ever and the city celebrated accordingly. The narrative regarding Washington D.C. as a mediocre sports town began to shift.

A city known for its overwhelming number of transients was overflowing with civic pride. 

About a month later, D.C. hosted the MLB’s annual All-Star Game, and all the festivities that come along with it.

And it was a huge hit.

Sidewalks and restaurant windows were plastered with the All-Star Game logo, welcoming visitors to the city. 

Tens of thousands of people attended FanFest at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center downtown. The Convention Center was practically converted into an MLB shrine offering countless interactive exhibits, facetime with former pros and masses of signed memorabilia.

Plenty of locations, particularly in the blocks surrounding Nats Park, offered food and drink specials to baseball fans, providing great alternatives to people who couldn’t make it to the game.

Most importantly, the whole event got a huge stamp of approval from the players. Bryce Harper did an exceptional job creating a great experience for the fans, from his Home Run Derby win to his walk down the red carpet.

Afer his start, Max Scherzer said verbatim "D.C. did it right." 

Several other D.C. athletes, including Ryan Kerrigan and John Wall, were out celebrating in support of their city.

If there was any doubt before D.C. could handle big-time sporting events, there isn't anymore.

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