WASHINGTON — A pair of old friends will reconnect when the Boston Red Sox visit the Washington Nationals on Monday night.
Former teammates Rick Porcello (9-2 Paul Hornung Jersey , 3.60) of the Red Sox and Max Scherzer (10-4, 2.04) square off for the first time in the opener of a three-game series.
Porcello and Scherzer spent five seasons together with the Detroit Tigers, reaching the 2012 World Series before losing to the San Francisco Giants.
Since leaving Detroit, Porcello won the 2016 American League Cy Young Award and Scherzer is making a strong case for his third straight National League Cy Young. Both have been aware this matchup was coming.
“Looking forward to it. We’ve been texting back and forth,” Porcello told the Boston Globe. “We’ve had a good time with it and I’m sure we’ll both get a kick about going against each other once the game starts.”
Scherzer is looking for his first win since June 5, though he’s pitched well enough to win each of his past four starts, allowing two earned runs or less in each outing. The Nationals are 1-3 in those starts and were shut out in each loss.
“I think everybody’s been punched in the face before of not having success,” Scherzer told The Washington Post after his last start, a 1-0 loss to the Marlins. “This is the big leagues; they are going to keep coming down your throat and keep attacking you.”
Scherzer, Washington’s only dependable starter of late, is 4-4 with a 6.05 ERA in 10 starts versus Boston.
Porcello allowed four runs on eight hits in 5 2/3 innings last time out in a no-decision against the Angels.
He’s 1-0 with a 3.38 ERA in his lone start against Washington, an eight-inning effort in April of 2015.
The Nationals (42-40) squandered an early 3-0 lead in Philadelphia on Sunday and fell 4-3 in 13 innings on Andrew Knapp’s pinch-hit walk-off home run as Washington dropped a second straight weekend series to their division rivals.
Washington managed only four hits in eight innings against the Philadelphia bullpen in the finale.
“Offensively, we’ve got to do more,” outfielder Adam Eaton told The Post. “That’s plain and simple. We score early and then we can’t coast. We can’t take our foot off the accelerator. We got to keep going.”
The Nationals are now 6-15 in their past 21 games and fell six games behind Atlanta in the NL East.
In each of their last nine losses Ray Nitschke Jersey , they’ve scored three or fewer runs.
“We’ve got to start striking out less,” manager Dave Martinez told MASN, “putting the balls in play, driving in runs when we have the ability to drive in runs.”
Boston (56-29) finished a three-game series against the Yankees on a forgettable note Sunday night, getting routed 11-1 behind starter David Price as New York blasted six home runs, including three by Aaron Hicks.
Price allowed eight runs on nine hits in 3 1/3 innings.
The Red Sox dropped two of three and travel south percentage points behind the Yankees in the AL East.
Robbie Ray looked like he was in All-Star form while making his first start in nearly two months.
Ray returned from the disabled list and pitched six scoreless innings to help the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Miami Marlins 2-1 on Wednesday night.
”That was about as good as it could have been,” Ray said.
Ray (3-0) allowed two hits and issued two walks.
”I know there was one inning where his pitch count climbed, but aside from that I know it was vintage Robbie Ray,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said.
Ray struck out six while throwing 56 of his 83 pitches for strikes in his first game since April 29. Ray had been on the disabled list with a strained right oblique.
”He turns into a different animal the day that he is starting and I saw it throughout his entire outing so it’s good to have him back,” Lovullo said.
Ray has won a career-long nine consecutive decisions over his last 15 starts since Aug. 24, 2017.
Daniel Descalso homered and Deven Marrero knocked in a run for the Diamondbacks, who have won six of seven.
Brad Boxberger allowed Starlin Castro’s leadoff homer in the ninth and walked the ensuing batter before retiring the next three for his 19th save in 23 chances.
Wei-Yin Chen (2-5) allowed one run and five hits in six innings for the Marlins.
”I pitched well, but the pitcher on the other side pitched better than me,” Chen said through a translator. ”He was successful in putting down our offense.”
Miami was held to just three hits.
The Marlins threatened in the fourth when Ray issued walks to the first two batters Reggie White Jersey , but he calmly retired the next three, including the final two on strikeouts.
”I’m pretty tough on myself so I just took a step off the mound and told myself that, `You’re better than this, you shouldn’t be walking these guys, make them put it in play like you have been, get back in the zone, and get your outs,”’ Ray said. ”And I was able to get my focus back and get out of it.”
Ketel Marte doubled to lead off the fifth and scored on Marrero’s base hit.
Descalso hit a pinch-hit home run to lead off the eighth off Adam Conley in a battle of lefties. It was his sixth career pinch-hit homer and his ninth home run of the season.
”I don’t care if it’s righty, lefty, my job is to go up there and get a hit,” Descalso said. ”I feel like I’ve always had a pretty good approach against lefties. Conley is a tough lefty, his numbers are really good, but he fell behind there 2-0 and I was looking for something over the middle and he left a fastball that I could handle pretty easily.”
Castro’s homer was his fifth of the season and second in as many days.
”He always gets his hits,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. ”We saw a little bit of power the last two nights. Hopefully Ronnie Harrison Color Rush Jersey , he can keep riding that.”
HIRANO TIES CLUB RECORD
Arizona’s Yoshihisa Hirano pitched one inning of relief and extended his scoreless game streak to 24, tying a club record set by J.J. Putz in 2012 and Brandon Lyon in 2008.
ANDERSON EXTENDS STREAK
Marlins rookie Brian Anderson walked in the fourth to extend his career-best, on-base streak to 24 games. That’s the longest active streak in the National League.
Diamondbacks: C Alex Avila (hamstring) was placed on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to June 24. ”He’s felt it for a while, but it was the game in Pittsburgh where it really jumped up on him and it became uncomfortable,” Lovullo said. … OF Steven Souza (pectoral) is 3 for 9 with a double and an RBI in two rehab assignment games with Single-A Visalia.
Marlins: C J.T. Realmuto (wrist) missed his third consecutive game. ”He took some swings, still a little sore,” Mattingly said. ”I talked to him before that if he’s feeling anything in there at all, I don’t want him swinging. That’s the one thing with hands and hitters, you start changing things and the next thing you know we’re going to be in an 0-for-20 (slump) or something, so we need to make sure he’s feeling like he can be himself. He was feeling it still at the finish of his swing. Better today than yesterday, but still not where we’re willing to take a chance.”
Diamondbacks: RHP Zack Greinke (7-5, 3.66 ERA) will start the fourth and final game of the series on Thursday. Greinke is 5-0 with a 1.77 ERA in five starts at Marlins Park.
Marlins: RHP Trevor Richards (2-4, 4.91) is coming off a win at Colorado in which he tossed six innings and allowed one run with eight strikeouts.