NEW YORK — Max Scherzer showed no effects of hamstring trouble, navigating heavy traffic early for his first win this season, and Trea Turner hit a record-breaking leadoff homer to help the Washington Nationals beat the New York Mets 2-1 on Tuesday night.
Howie Kendrick had three hits and Victor Robles blooped an RBI single for the Nationals, who have taken the first two in a four-game series between NL East rivals. New York (7-11) dropped to 3-7 at home this season.
Rick Porcello (1-2) threw six solid innings but was outpitched by Scherzer (1-1) in a matchup of Cy Young Award winners and former Detroit teammates. When they opposed each other last week in Washington, Porcello won 3-1 and Scherzer exited after only one inning because of a hamstring issue that first popped up before his previous outing.
The right-hander said he didn’t think it was anything serious, and the Nationals said he felt fine after a bullpen session between starts.
Scherzer needed 60 pitches to get through the initial two innings, but stranded five runners by striking out Wilson Ramos to end the first and Jeff McNeil to close the second.
Things turned for the three-time Cy Young Award winner when Dominic Smith lined into a double play to end the third. Scherzer lasted six innings and threw only 45 pitches over his final four to finish with 105. He gave up six hits, struck out seven and walked two.
Tanner Rainey tossed 1 2/3 hitless innings, getting McNeil to ground into an inning-ending double play with two on in the seventh.
Daniel Hudson struck out two in a 1-2-3 ninth, helped by an outstanding play from Turner at shortstop.
Turner, who just announced with his wife that they’re expecting a baby boy in February, drove Porcello’s second pitch to right for an opposite-field shot that marked his second home run in two nights at Citi Field.
It was Turner’s 10th career leadoff homer, a Nationals record. Alfonso Soriano hit nine in his lone season with Washington (2006).
Impressive 21-year-old rookie Andrés Giménez tripled off the right-field wall against Scherzer in the fourth and scored on Luis Guillorme’s sacrifice fly.
The speedy Turner grounded into two double plays for the first time in his career, both turned by Giménez and Guillorme.
Nationals: Right-handed reliever Will Harris (groin strain) threw 17 pitches against hitters and “looked really good,” according to manager Dave Martinez. “We’ll see how he bounces back tomorrow and go from there,” Martinez said.
Mets: RHP Brad Brach and RHP Walker Lockett (lower back discomfort) were reinstated from the injured list, adding fresh arms to a taxed bullpen. The return of Brach, who tested positive for COVID-19 upon arriving at summer camp, gave New York its full complement of projected relievers for the first time this season. RHP Paul Sewald and C Ali Sánchez were optioned to the alternate training site in Brooklyn. … SS Amed Rosario didn’t start because of a stomach bug but was expected to be available off the bench. … Slumping 1B Pete Alonso was rested for the first time this season. He flied out as a pinch-hitter in the seventh and stayed in the game. … 2B Robinson Canó (left adductor strain) did some baserunning at Citi Field but it’s too early to tell if he’ll be ready to come off the IL when first eligible Friday, manager Luis Rojas said. … OF Jake Marisnick (strained left hamstring) was at the ballpark for rehab work. He took three at-bats and played a little bit in center field Monday at the alternate site.
Aníbal Sánchez (0-2, 7.84 ERA) pitches Wednesday night for Washington. The Mets hadn’t announced a starter to replace Michael Wacha, who went on the injured list Sunday with shoulder inflammation. Lockett could be a candidate.
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