Scherzer finds his form, Rendon homers as Nats beat D-Backs

Segura blasts leadoff homer off Scherzer (0:26)

Jean Segura wastes no time with this home run off Max Scherzer's first pitch of the game to boost the Diamondbacks to a 1-0 lead on the Nationals. (0:26)

WASHINGTON -- Max Scherzer struck out 10 and allowed two runs in six innings and Anthony Rendon hit a go-ahead three-run homer as the Washington Nationals beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-2 on Tuesday night to inch closer to home-field advantage in the NL Division Series.

Scherzer (19-7) was not at his Cy Young Award candidate best, uncharacteristically missing spots and allowing six hits, including a leadoff home run by Jean Segura. But the right-hander struck out six straight as he reassumed control of an important game for Washington, which dropped its magic number for home-field advantage against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS to five.

After the Nationals didn't get a hit through five innings against Arizona's Matt Koch, making his first major league start, Rendon hit a three-run shot off Randall Delgado (4-2) with two outs in the sixth, his 19th of the season.

Scherzer looked vulnerable at times, on Segura's home run and when doubles by Jake Lamb and Welington Castillo made it 2-0 in the third. But Scherzer locked it down, allowing only two baserunners the rest of the game.

It was Scherzer's 13th 10-plus strikeout game of the season and 49th of his career. He reached 277 strikeouts or the season, breaking his own Nationals record set last year.

But it took a rally capped by Rendon's home run to get Scherzer his 19th victory of the season. Rendon deposited Delgado's 1-0 fastball into the visiting bullpen in left center to give Washington the lead on just its second hit, earning a curtain call in the process for his 500th career hit.


Koch held the Nationals without a hit through five innings before Jose Lobaton singled to center. The 25-year-old allowed only one baserunner in his first five innings, but Lobaton's single and a walk ended his outing at 69 pitches.


Diamondbacks: Manager Chip Hale said RHP Rubby De La Rosa successfully had stem cell injections in his elbow. De La Rosa is trying the stem cell procedure in an attempt to avoid a second Tommy John surgery.

Nationals: C Wilson Ramos is out for the rest of the season and playoffs after an MRI revealed a torn ACL in his right knee. ... LHP Sammy Solis threw a perfect seventh inning in his first appearance since Aug. 15 after a stint on the DL with shoulder inflammation.


LHP Gio Gonzalez (11-10, 4.51 ERA) starts the third of the four-game series for the Nationals against Diamondbacks RHP Shelby Miller (2-12, 6.47).