MLB Baseball

Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Washington0 0 0 1 0 0 2 0 0 371
Philadelphia0 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 1 470
  W: H. Neris (2-4)   L: M. Grace (0-2)
10:05 AM PT11:05 AM MT12:05 PM CT1:05 PM ET13:05 ET17:05 GMT1:05 10:05 AM MST12:05 PM EST12:35 PM VEN21:05 UAE12:05 PM CT, July 14, 2019
Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania  Attendance: 43,075

With Scherzer out, Arrieta looks to carry Phils past Nats

(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

The Washington Nationals and Philadelphia Phillies were barely back from the All-Star break when the promise of a potential matchup of former Cy Young Award winners in the finale of the first series of the second half fizzled out.

But even with Max Scherzer on the injured list for the first time in nearly two years, the Nationals won't be nearly as consumed by his absence Sunday as the Phillies will be with the sight of Jake Arrieta on the mound.

The slumping and banged-up Arrieta will look to help the Phillies avoid a sweep Sunday afternoon, when the 2015 National League Cy Young award winner starts against the visiting Nationals.

Rather than Scherzer, Arrieta (8-7, 4.67 ERA) is now scheduled to oppose fellow right-hander Anibal Sanchez (5-6, 3.66).

The Nationals continued surging Saturday night, when Juan Soto hit a two-out, two-run homer in the top of the ninth to lift Washington to a 4-3 win.

The victory was the 12th in 14 games for the Nationals since June 25, a stretch in which Washington has gone from 3 1/2 games out of the second wild card to leading the race for the first wild card by two games.

The hot stretch means the Nationals can proceed cautiously with Scherzer, who is 7-0 with an 0.84 ERA in his last nine starts. Scherzer was lined up to pitch Sunday before he was scratched Friday due to a back strain.

The Nationals hoped Scherzer could pitch as soon as Tuesday against the Baltimore Orioles, but the three-time Cy Young Award winner was placed on the injured list Saturday, retroactive to July 10.

"This is not a major thing," Scherzer told reporters Friday. "The pause for concern is that we tried to get it going for the Kansas City start (on July 6) and it just wasn't able to recover from the Kansas City start. Now, you go on a little different protocol to make sure I'm 100 percent right before I step on the mound again."

Arrieta and the skidding Phillies -- who are 14-21 since June 1 -- decided they couldn't wait for him to get to 100 percent right. After giving up six runs (five earned) over 4 1/3 innings and taking the defeat in a 6-5 loss to the New York Mets on July 6, Arrieta hinted he was battling physical issues while producing a 6.63 ERA over his last seven starts. A day later, it was revealed he's been pitching with a bone spur in his right elbow.

"I think it's something that I can manage, that I can work with and try to get through the rest of the season," Arrieta told reporters. "We're still trying to do some special things this year. I think I still have a lot to offer the team and can still help us win."

Sanchez earned the win in his most recent start July 4, when he allowed two runs (one earned) over six innings as the Nationals beat the Miami Marlins 5-2.

Arrieta is 1-3 with a 4.79 ERA in 15 career regular-season starts against the Nationals. Sanchez is 5-11 with a 4.49 ERA in 23 starts against the Phillies.

--Field Level Media

Updated July 14, 2019

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