ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

Sedona Red Recap: Scherzer, Nationals blow out Arizona Diamondbacks

May 11, 2015, 10:43 PM | Updated: 10:44 pm

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Well, that escalated quickly.

A four-run first plus a six-run second added up to an early exit and trip to the showers for Arizona Diamondbacks starter Josh Collmenter, who couldn’t make it through two innings in an 11-1 series-opening loss to the Washington Nationals in front of a season-low 16,406 at Chase Field on Monday.

Collmenter’s night ended after only 13 batters — 33 minutes after first pitch — but in those 13 at-bats, there were eight hits that turned into nine runs, including first-inning home runs by Denard Span and Ryan Zimmerman.

The Nationals knocked Collmenter (3-4) out of the game with four straight base hits, a sacrifice fly and Bryce Harper RBI single to begin the second inning.

Wilson Ramos furthered the damage with a three-run double to make it 10-0.

The Nationals pounded out 15 hits, five of which belonged to Yunel Escobar, who tied his career-high set just last week.

The run support was more than enough for Max Scherzer (3-3). The one-time D-back was making his first start at Chase Field since he was traded after the 2009 season as part of a three-team deal that brought pitchers Ian Kennedy and Edwin Jackson to Arizona.

Scherzer, the 11th overall pick in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft, retired 13 of the first 15 batters he faced. He was challenged in the fifth inning after back-to-back one-out hits by Chris Owings and Tuffy Gosewisch, but the Nationals starter ended the threat with a pair of flyouts.

The one run Scherzer allowed came off the bat of Jordan Pacheco, who homered in the sixth.

Other than that, Scherzer was on his game, limiting the D-backs to five hits with one walk and six strikeouts.

The Nationals have won five straight and six in a row against the D-backs dating back to 2014.

THE GOOD

Recalled from Triple-A Reno earlier in the day, Vidal Nuno pitched 6.2 innings of relief, which was much-needed, given an overworked bullpen. After a walk and a double to the first two batters he faced, Nuno struck out four straight. He finished with eight strikeouts, setting a new career high. His final line included two earned runs allowed on seven hits with two walks. Nuno threw 105 pitches — 70 strikes.

Like most in the D-backs lineup, Owings had zero career at-bats against Scherzer, yet he singled in each of his first two plate appearances. He beat out an infield hit in the third inning then ripped a base hit to right field in the fifth. Owings, who entered hitting .160 (4-for-25) over his last seven games, finished 2-for-4 to raise his batting average 11 points to .221.

A mid-game replacement for Paul Goldschmidt, Pacheco homered in his second at-bat of the game, slamming a 3-2 pitch over the left field fence and into the D-backs bullpen. The one-out, sixth-inning solo shot was his second of the season. In sporadic playing time, Pacheco is batting .304 (7-for-23) in his last eight games.

THE BAD

Just seconds into the game, Span lined the second pitch he saw over the right field fence for his third home run of the season and the Nationals’ third leadoff home run of the season. Span, who entered the night’s action 2-for-4 with a triple lifetime against Collmenter, has now reached base safely in 15 of his last 17 games.

Eight minutes and 15 pitches later, Zimmerman made it 4-0 Nationals in the first inning. The three-run home run to left field came on a 2-1 pitch. It was his fourth of the season and the Nationals’ major league-leading 13th of the season. Zimmerman has five RBI in the last two games. His 25 RBI rank second on the team behind only Harper’s 29.

Speaking of Harper, he came within 2 or 3 feet of his own three-run home run in the first. He lifted a 3-2 offering deep to right field where Ender Inciarte made the catch camped underneath the 330-foot marking on the foul pole. The reigning National League Player of the Week went 1-for-4 with a walk, RBI and run scored.

Also in that first inning, Jayson Werth drew a base on balls, the first one issued by Collmenter in 101 batters. Werth took a called strike one and then watched four straight balls sail out of the strike zone. Two at-bats later, Zimmerman homered, which, with Scherzer on the mound, esentially put the game out of reach. By the way, Werth was the only starter not to record a hit.

Half of the six runs the Nationals scored in the second inning were driven in by Ramos’ base-clearing double. The hit down the left field line extended his hitting streak to a career-high-tying 14 games, which he previously accomplished from June 9 July 11, 2014. The double was Ramos’ only hit in five at-bats.

The nine runs Collmenter allowed were the most of his career. His ERA ballooned to 5.27, joining Jeremey Hellickson (5.85) as the only D-backs starters with ERAs north of five. Collmenter had won two straight starts and pitched at least six innings in four straight outings.

STAT OF THE GAME (part I)

11: The number of runs the Nationals scored, setting a new D-backs opponent season-high

STAT OF THE GAME (part II)

5: The number of home runs allowed by Collmenter in his last two starts

HE SAID IT

“This is one game. It’s a tough one to watch. I feel bad for the fans. t was over early,” manager Chip Hale said. “But, it just counts for one loss. Hopefully, we’ll be better tomorrow; I know we will be. It just wasn’t our night.”

NOTED

• The 6.2 innings pitched by Nuno were the second-most by a D-backs reliever, behind Randy Johnson’s seven-inning effort July 18, 2001, at San Diego — a relief appearance necessitated when a transformer blew at Qualcomm Stadium the previous night, suspending play in the bottom of the second inning.

• By walking one batter, Collmenter extended his streak of yielding one walk or fewer to 10 straight starts dating back to 2014, tied for the second-longest such streak in team history.

• Before being replaced in the top of the fourth inning by Pacheco, Goldschmidt had missed only four innings this season.

• Arizona Cardinals first-round draft pick D.J. Humphries threw out the ceremonial first pitch.

UP NEXT

The second game of the three-game series pits a pair of right-handers against one another. Rubby De La Rosa and Stephen Strasburg is the scheduled matchup on Tuesday, May 12.

First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 pm. with pregame coverage beginning 30 minutes earlier on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.

De La Rosa (3-2) currently has a 10-inning scoreless streak. He won his last start — May 7 against the Padres — as he tossed seven scoreless innings with seven strikeouts.

In home starts, De La Rosa is 2-0 with a 3.26 ERA (seven ER in 19.1 IP) in three games.

This will be his first career appearance against the Nationals.

Meanwhile, Strasburg is pitching on six days rest. The former No. 1 overall pick was given an extra day after he left his last start in the third inning because of back tightness.

Strasburg (2-3) told reporters he’s now healthy, and he will be making his seventh start of the season. Only once has he pitched past the sixth inning this year.

In his career against the D-backs, Strasburg is 3-1 with a 2.25 ERA with 31 strikeouts in 40 innings covering six starts.

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