BOSTON (AP) — Max Scherzer struck out 11 in six innings and Juan Soto and Howie Kendrick hit back-to-back homers in Washington’s five-run third, leading the Nationals to a 10-2 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Friday night.
A day after both teams’ games were postponed in the sport’s racial justice awakening, they returned for Jackie Robinson Day, lining up along the baselines before the game to listen to a recorded speech from the player who broke baseball’s color barrier. Boston’s Jackie Bradley Jr. — the only Black player on the last team in the majors to integrate — knelt for the national anthem, with teammate Alex Verdugo taking a knee beside him.
Trea Turner and Victor Robles had three hits apiece and Josh Harrison also homered for Washington, which handed Scherzer (3-1) a 5-0 lead in the third. The three-time Cy Young Award winner allowed one run and six hits to win his third straight decision, matching his season high for strikeouts.
Boston left-hander Martín Pérez (2-4) gave up six runs and eight hits in four innings. The Red Sox scored one in the ninth and loaded the bases before Ryne Harper got the last two outs.
The 2018 World Series winners and the defending champions each entered the game in last place in their divisions. The Nationals snapped a three-game losing streak and sent the Red Sox to their fourth loss in five games.
It was scoreless with one on and one out in the third when Robles and Turner hit consecutive doubles. Soto and Kendrick followed with the Nationals’ first back-to-back home runs of the season.
It was the 200th career RBI for Soto, who will turn 22 in October. According to ESPN, only Mel Ott, Al Kaline, Ken Griffey Jr., Mickey Mantle, Tony Conigliaro, Jimmie Foxx and César Cedeño were younger when they reached the milestone.
Washington scored three times in the eighth to make it 10-1, getting Harrison’s two-run homer and an RBI double from Turner.
Nationals: RHP Aníbal Sánchez (1-3) starts in the 7:30 p.m. game on Saturday.
Red Sox: RHP Chris Mazza (0-1) starts in the second game of the series.
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