Porcello doubles off Scherzer to help Red Sox beat Nationals

WASHINGTON (AP) Just stepping into the batter's box to face good friend and former teammate Max Scherzer was a special occasion for Rick Porcello.

A career American League pitcher with 35 plate appearances on his resume going up against a three-time Cy Young Award-winner had mismatch written all over it. Instead, Porcello hit a three-run double off Scherzer that set the stage for the Boston Red Sox beating the Washington Nationals 4-3 in the opener of their three-game interleague series Monday night.

''I got lucky,'' Porcello said. ''He got to the top of his windup and I told myself, `Start swinging.' Then I hit it.''

Porcello's first major league extra-base hit came in the second inning on an 0-2 pitch after the Nationals intentionally walked Jackie Bradley Jr. to pitch to him. His .156 batting average and limited hitting experience made it appear to be the right calculation, but Porcello drove Scherzer's 96 mph fastball over the head of Juan Soto in left center for his first RBIs since 2009.

''You don't hit for an entire year,'' said Porcello, who came in with five hits and two RBIs in his career. ''You don't even know what it's going to look like once you step in there. I was thinking swing the bat and be competitive up there. You just never know what's going to happen because you don't do it very often.''

Scherzer and Porcello were teammates for five seasons with the Detroit Tigers and are still close. Because of that, Scherzer wasn't surprised by Porcello's hitting stroke.

''I know he can hit,'' Scherzer said. ''Give him a couple sliders to keep him off balance and then was trying to get a fastball up and away and it ran back middle-in. Anybody can hit middle-in. He can do that. I've seen him do it.''

On the mound, Porcello (10-3) struck out five and limited the damage to solo home runs by Anthony Rendon and Daniel Murphy. Scherzer (10-5) struck out nine and kept the Red Sox off the board except for Porcello's bases-clearing double and became the 11th pitcher to reach 1,000 strikeouts with two different teams.

When Scherzer exited the game after 108 pitches, Mookie Betts provided the Red Sox with their insurance run with a solo shot off Brandon Kintzler in the seventh, his 21st home run of the season. Bryce Harper hit his 21st in the eighth, but Boston's bullpen held on to hand the Nationals their 16th loss in 24 one-run games.

''Go out there and try to win ballgames and they all feel the same to me,'' Harper said as Washington fell to 42-41, seven games back of NL East-leading Atlanta. ''I mean we lose the game, you're a loser. Win the game, you're a winner.''

Craig Kimbrel got into some trouble but picked up four outs for his 25th save in 27 chances.

FIRST-BASE HARPER?

Harper is doing just fine in center field but on Monday fielded some grounders at first base. It's just experimental for now but could help the Nationals out down the line.

''I don't ever know if he'll ever start a game there, but I believe that if we're in a pinch and we've got to make some kind of decisions in-game, he probably could play there,'' manager Davey Martinez said.

PUERTO RICO PRIDE

Martinez and Red Sox manager Alex Cora were never on the same team but knew each other well from their playing days. They exchanged lineup cards as two managers of Puerto Rican descent in the series opener, a special moment and occasion for them and their country.

''It's good for Puerto Rico,'' Martinez said. ''We feel blessed and we're happy we got the opportunity to do what we do.''

TRAINER'S ROOM

Red Sox: RHP Steven Wright (left knee inflammation) received a PRP (platelet-rich plasma) injection, a day after throwing a short bullpen session. Cora said Wright could return before the All-Star break. . 2B Dustin Pedroia (left knee inflammation) will remain in New York all week. . Cora said RHP Tyler Thornburg (shoulder surgery) will most likely be activated from the disabled list during this series.

Nationals: 1B Ryan Zimmerman (right oblique strain) took part in a simulated game as he prepares to try to play in a game for the first time since May. ... Martinez said C Matt Wieters (left hamstring strain) will go on a minor-league rehab assignment Tuesday at Double-A Harrisburg after reporting significant progress in the simulated game and could be activated as soon as Wednesday.

UP NEXT

Boston LHP Brian Johnson (1-2, 4.28 ERA), who is 1-0 with a 3.18 ERA in three career interleague appearances, faces Washington for the first time. RHP Tanner Roark (3-9, 4.10 ERA) pitches for the Nationals in his first career start against the Red Sox.

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123456789RHE
BOS57-29
030000100470
WAS42-41
000101010390
  • W: R. Porcello (10-3)L: M. Scherzer (10-5)S: C. Kimbrel (25)
  • HR: BOS - M. Betts (21), WAS - D. Murphy (1), B. Harper (21), A. Rendon (12)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
M. Betts RF41111101.337.430.6791.1087.0
A. Benintendi LF50000043.280.362.497.859-2.0
X. Bogaerts SS30000010.271.333.491.8240.5
M. Moreland 1B41100021.285.352.531.8821.0
R. Devers 3B40000022.245.287.436.723-1.0
B. Holt 2B31300000.304.382.419.8014.0
S. Leon C30000022.254.295.412.707-1.0
C. Kimbrel P00000000.000.000.000.0000.0
J. Bradley CF21100200.201.296.328.6244.0
R. Porcello P30130022.333.333.6671.0004.0
M. Barnes P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
J. Kelly P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
C. Vazquez C10000001.216.254.307.5600.0
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    A. Eaton RF40200110.309.381.415.7962.5
    T. Turner SS50000013.270.352.405.757-0.5
    J. Soto LF20100311.313.429.570.9993.5
    A. Rendon 3B51111016.291.356.537.8935.5
    B. Harper CF41111010.217.365.483.8475.5
    D. Murphy 1B41211010.203.242.288.5306.5
    W. Difo 2B40200021.250.304.351.6551.0
    P. Severino C30000012.167.254.220.474-0.5
    a- M. Reynolds PH00000100.245.318.479.7961.0
    S. Kieboom C00000000.214.298.262.5600.0
    M. Scherzer P20000000.237.275.263.5380.0
    B. Kintzler P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    b- B. Goodwin PH10000000.170.308.302.6100.0
    T. Collins P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    c- M. Taylor PH10000001.238.299.383.6810.0
    S. Kelley P00000000.000.000.000.0000.0
    • a-walked for Severino in the 8th
    • b-lined out for Kintzler in the 7th
    • c-flied out for Collins in the 8th
    BATTING
    • 2B - R. Porcello
    • HR - M. Betts (21)
    • SH - S. Leon
    • RBI - M. Betts (42), R. Porcello 3 (3)
    • 2-Out RBI - R. Porcello 3 (3)
    BATTING
    • HR - A. Rendon (12), B. Harper (21), D. Murphy
    • RBI - A. Rendon (37), B. Harper (50), D. Murphy (7)
    BASERUNNING
    • CS - B. Holt (3)
    FIELDING
    • Outfield Assist - M. Betts (3)
    PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
    R. Porcello (W, 10-3)6.07222523.571.1519.5
    M. Barnes (H, 16)1.01001102.521.091.5
    J. Kelly (H, 16)0.21111213.571.13-2.0
    C. Kimbrel (S, 25)1.10001102.080.879.5
    PITCHERSIP
    R. Porcello (W, 10-3)6.0
    M. Barnes (H, 16)1.0
    J. Kelly (H, 16)0.2
    C. Kimbrel (S, 25)1.1
    PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
    M. Scherzer (L, 10-5)6.04333902.160.8710.5
    B. Kintzler1.01110114.311.371.5
    T. Collins1.01000203.001.423.0
    S. Kelley1.01000103.380.982.5
    PITCHERSIP
    M. Scherzer (L, 10-5)6.0
    B. Kintzler1.0
    T. Collins1.0
    S. Kelley1.0
    PITCHING
    • Pitches-Strikes - R. Porcello 92-66, M. Barnes 19-11, J. Kelly 17-9, C. Kimbrel 33-19
    • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - R. Porcello 8-4, M. Barnes 1-1
    • Batters Faced - R. Porcello 26, M. Barnes 5, J. Kelly 4, C. Kimbrel 5
    PITCHING
    • WP - M. Scherzer (4)
    • IBB - M. Scherzer 2 (3)
    • HBP - M. Scherzer 2 (7)
    • Pitches-Strikes - M. Scherzer 108-74, B. Kintzler 15-11, T. Collins 12-7, S. Kelley 8-7
    • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - M. Scherzer 1-8
    • Batters Faced - M. Scherzer 27, B. Kintzler 4, T. Collins 3, S. Kelley 4
    PLAYERS OF THE GAME
    123456789RHE
    BOS57-29
    030000100470
    WAS42-41
    000101010390
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    M. Betts RF41111101.337.430.6791.1087.0
    A. Benintendi LF50000043.280.362.497.859-2.0
    X. Bogaerts SS30000010.271.333.491.8240.5
    M. Moreland 1B41100021.285.352.531.8821.0
    R. Devers 3B40000022.245.287.436.723-1.0
    B. Holt 2B31300000.304.382.419.8014.0
    S. Leon C30000022.254.295.412.707-1.0
    C. Kimbrel P00000000.000.000.000.0000.0
    J. Bradley CF21100200.201.296.328.6244.0
    R. Porcello P30130022.333.333.6671.0004.0
    M. Barnes P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    J. Kelly P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    C. Vazquez C10000001.216.254.307.5600.0
    Total3247413137-----
      HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
      A. Eaton RF40200110.309.381.415.7962.5
      T. Turner SS50000013.270.352.405.757-0.5
      J. Soto LF20100311.313.429.570.9993.5
      A. Rendon 3B51111016.291.356.537.8935.5
      B. Harper CF41111010.217.365.483.8475.5
      D. Murphy 1B41211010.203.242.288.5306.5
      W. Difo 2B40200021.250.304.351.6551.0
      P. Severino C30000012.167.254.220.474-0.5
      a- M. Reynolds PH00000100.245.318.479.7961.0
      S. Kieboom C00000000.214.298.262.5600.0
      M. Scherzer P20000000.237.275.263.5380.0
      B. Kintzler P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
      b- B. Goodwin PH10000000.170.308.302.6100.0
      T. Collins P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
      c- M. Taylor PH10000001.238.299.383.6810.0
      S. Kelley P00000000.000.000.000.0000.0
      Total3539335910-----
      • a-walked for Severino in the 8th
      • b-lined out for Kintzler in the 7th
      • c-flied out for Collins in the 8th
      BATTING
      • 2B - R. Porcello
      • HR - M. Betts (21)
      • SH - S. Leon
      • RBI - M. Betts (42), R. Porcello 3 (3)
      • 2-Out RBI - R. Porcello 3 (3)
      BATTING
      • HR - A. Rendon (12), B. Harper (21), D. Murphy
      • RBI - A. Rendon (37), B. Harper (50), D. Murphy (7)
      BASERUNNING
      • CS - B. Holt (3)
      FIELDING
      • Outfield Assist - M. Betts (3)
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      R. Porcello (W, 10-3)6.07222523.571.1519.5
      M. Barnes (H, 16)1.01001102.521.091.5
      J. Kelly (H, 16)0.21111213.571.13-2.0
      C. Kimbrel (S, 25)1.10001102.080.879.5
      Total9.0933593---
      PITCHERSIP
      R. Porcello (W, 10-3)6.0
      M. Barnes (H, 16)1.0
      J. Kelly (H, 16)0.2
      C. Kimbrel (S, 25)1.1
      Total9.0
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      M. Scherzer (L, 10-5)6.04333902.160.8710.5
      B. Kintzler1.01110114.311.371.5
      T. Collins1.01000203.001.423.0
      S. Kelley1.01000103.380.982.5
      Total9.07443131---
      PITCHERSIP
      M. Scherzer (L, 10-5)6.0
      B. Kintzler1.0
      T. Collins1.0
      S. Kelley1.0
      Total9.0
      PITCHING
      • Pitches-Strikes - R. Porcello 92-66, M. Barnes 19-11, J. Kelly 17-9, C. Kimbrel 33-19
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - R. Porcello 8-4, M. Barnes 1-1
      • Batters Faced - R. Porcello 26, M. Barnes 5, J. Kelly 4, C. Kimbrel 5
      PITCHING
      • WP - M. Scherzer (4)
      • IBB - M. Scherzer 2 (3)
      • HBP - M. Scherzer 2 (7)
      • Pitches-Strikes - M. Scherzer 108-74, B. Kintzler 15-11, T. Collins 12-7, S. Kelley 8-7
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - M. Scherzer 1-8
      • Batters Faced - M. Scherzer 27, B. Kintzler 4, T. Collins 3, S. Kelley 4
      • 8TH INNING
        Harper homered to right43
      • 7TH INNING
        Betts homered to left center42
      • 6TH INNING
        Murphy homered to right32
      • 4TH INNING
        Rendon homered to left31
      • 2ND INNING
        Porcello doubled to left center, Moreland, Holt and Bradley scored30
      • 9TH INNING
        • Shawn Kelley pitching
        • Spencer Kieboom catching
        • J. Bradley: Bradley reached on bunt single to third
        • C. Vazquez: Vazquez flied out to right
        • M. Betts: Ball, Pickoff attempt, Strike looking, Betts flied out to center
        • A. Benintendi: Pickoff attempt, Pickoff attempt, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Benintendi struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 9th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • C. Kimbrel Pitching:
        • A. Eaton: Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Eaton struck out swinging
        • T. Turner: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Turner flied out to deep right
        • J. Soto: Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Soto walked
        • A. Rendon: Ball, Ball, Ball, Rendon lined out to left
        • End of the 9th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 8TH INNING
        • Tim Collins pitching
        • R. Devers: Foul, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Devers struck out swinging
        • B. Holt: Ball, Ball, Holt singled to right
        • S. Leon: Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Holt picked off at second, first to pitcher to second, Strike looking, Leon struck out looking
        • Middle of the 8th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • Joe Kelly relieved Matt Barnes
        • B. Harper: Ball, Ball, Harper homered to right
        • D. Murphy: Strike looking, Foul, Strike swinging, Murphy struck out swinging
        • W. Difo: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Difo struck out swinging
        • Mark Reynolds hit for Pedro Severino
        • M. Reynolds: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Reynolds walked
        • Craig Kimbrel pitching
        • Michael Taylor hit for Tim Collins
        • Christian Vazquez catching
        • M. Taylor: Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Taylor flied out to right
        • End of the 8th (1 Run, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
      • 7TH INNING
        • Brandon Kintzler relieved Max Scherzer
        • M. Betts: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Betts homered to left center
        • A. Benintendi: Strike looking, Benintendi flied out to left
        • X. Bogaerts: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Bogaerts struck out swinging
        • M. Moreland: Foul, Ball, Moreland flied out to left
        • Middle of the 7th (1 Run, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • Matt Barnes relieved Rick Porcello
        • Brian Goodwin hit for Brandon Kintzler
        • B. Goodwin: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Goodwin lined out to second
        • A. Eaton: Eaton singled to shallow left
        • T. Turner: Ball, Strike looking, Pickoff attempt, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Turner struck out swinging
        • J. Soto: Strike swinging, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Soto walked, Eaton to second
        • A. Rendon: Strike looking, Rendon grounded into fielder's choice to shortstop, Soto out at second
        • End of the 7th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
      • 6TH INNING
        • M. Scherzer Pitching:
        • R. Devers: Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Devers popped out to second
        • B. Holt: Holt singled to shallow center
        • S. Leon: Foul, Leon hit sacrifice bunt to pitcher, Holt to second
        • J. Bradley: Bradley intentionally walked
        • R. Porcello: Foul, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike looking, Porcello struck out looking
        • Middle of the 6th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • R. Porcello Pitching:
        • B. Harper: Ball, Harper flied out to left
        • D. Murphy: Murphy homered to right
        • W. Difo: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike looking, Difo struck out looking
        • P. Severino: Ball, Severino grounded out to third
        • End of the 6th (1 Run, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
      • 5TH INNING
        • M. Scherzer Pitching:
        • A. Benintendi: Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Benintendi struck out swinging
        • X. Bogaerts: Strike looking, Ball, Bogaerts lined out to left
        • M. Moreland: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Strike swinging, Moreland struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 5th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • R. Porcello Pitching:
        • M. Scherzer: Strike swinging, Scherzer grounded out to pitcher
        • A. Eaton: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Ball, Ball, Eaton walked
        • T. Turner: Ball, Strike looking, Turner lined out to third
        • J. Soto: Soto singled to right center, Eaton to second
        • A. Rendon: Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Rendon struck out swinging
        • End of the 5th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
      • 4TH INNING
        • M. Scherzer Pitching:
        • J. Bradley: Bradley flied out to deep left
        • R. Porcello: Strike looking, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Porcello struck out swinging
        • M. Betts: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Betts flied out to center
        • Middle of the 4th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • R. Porcello Pitching:
        • A. Rendon: Rendon homered to left
        • B. Harper: Strike swinging, Foul, Foul, Strike looking, Harper struck out looking
        • D. Murphy: Strike looking, Murphy lined out to first
        • W. Difo: Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike looking, Difo singled to left
        • P. Severino: Foul, Ball, Strike looking, Pickoff attempt, Strike looking, Severino struck out looking
        • End of the 4th (1 Run, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 3RD INNING
        • M. Scherzer Pitching:
        • X. Bogaerts: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Bogaerts hit by pitch
        • M. Moreland: Pickoff attempt, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Pickoff attempt, Foul, Strike swinging, Moreland struck out swinging
        • R. Devers: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Foul, Foul, Foul, Ball, Foul, Foul tip, Devers struck out on foul tip
        • B. Holt: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Pickoff attempt, Foul, Foul, Foul, Foul, Foul, Foul, Holt singled to right, Bogaerts to third
        • S. Leon: Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Leon flied out to center
        • Middle of the 3rd (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • R. Porcello Pitching:
        • M. Scherzer: Strike looking, Strike looking, Scherzer grounded out to pitcher
        • A. Eaton: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Foul, Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Eaton singled to right center
        • T. Turner: Foul, Turner reached on fielder's choice to third, Eaton out at second
        • J. Soto: Strike looking, Pickoff attempt, Foul, Strike looking, Soto struck out looking
        • End of the 3rd (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
      • 2ND INNING
        • M. Scherzer Pitching:
        • M. Moreland: Strike looking, Strike (foul tip), Moreland singled to center
        • R. Devers: Ball, Ball, Devers popped out to second
        • B. Holt: Ball, Ball, Holt hit by pitch, Moreland to second
        • S. Leon: Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Moreland to third, Holt to second on wild pitch
        • J. Bradley: Bradley intentionally walked
        • R. Porcello: Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Porcello doubled to left center, Moreland, Holt and Bradley scored
        • M. Betts: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Betts walked
        • A. Benintendi: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Benintendi struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 2nd (3 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • R. Porcello Pitching:
        • B. Harper: Strike looking, Harper grounded out to second
        • D. Murphy: Strike looking, Murphy singled to center
        • W. Difo: Ball, Foul, Difo singled to right, Murphy out at third
        • P. Severino: Severino grounded out to pitcher
        • End of the 2nd (0 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 1ST INNING
        • M. Scherzer Pitching:
        • M. Betts: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Betts popped out to first
        • A. Benintendi: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Benintendi struck out swinging
        • X. Bogaerts: Strike swinging, Foul, Bogaerts flied out to deep right
        • Middle of the 1st (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • R. Porcello Pitching:
        • A. Eaton: Strike looking, Ball, Eaton flied out to deep right
        • T. Turner: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Ball, Turner grounded out to first
        • J. Soto: Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Soto walked
        • A. Rendon: Ball, Foul, Strike looking, Rendon grounded into fielder's choice to third, Soto out at second
        • End of the 1st (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)