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Jun 29, 10:49 PM EDT

Murphy, Scherzer help Nationals sweep Mets with 4-2 win


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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Daniel Murphy homered twice, tormenting his former team yet again, and the Washington Nationals completed a three-game sweep of the New York Mets with 4-2 victory Wednesday night.

Max Scherzer (9-5) cruised against New York's sputtering offense, allowing two hits with 10 strikeouts over 7 1/3 shutout innings. He retired 18 in a row before Brandon Nimmo's single in the eighth and finished with at least 10 strikeouts for the fourth straight outing.

Murphy homered off Logan Verrett (3-5) in the second for a 1-0 lead and golfed a two-run drive in the eighth against reliever Sean Gilmartin. The second baseman matched his career high with 14 homers and helped Washington win its fourth in a row.

Murphy is batting .428 (15 for 35) with four home runs and 11 RBIs against New York. He signed a $37.5 million, three-year contract with Washington last offseason after spending his first seven seasons with the Mets and powering them into the World Series last year with a record-setting postseason.

The Mets went 23 innings without scoring before James Loney's two-run homer in the ninth off Shawn Kelley.

Kelley got four outs for his fourth save. He threw a called third strike past Nimmo with a runner on second to end it.

New York lost 5-0 in Tuesday's rain-interrupted matchup after dropping the series opener 11-4.

Scherzer walked Kelly Johnson in the second, the same inning in which Asdrubal Cabrera registered New York's first hit. The Mets didn't reach base again until Nimmo's hit on the final pitch from Scherzer, who left to a standing ovation.

Mets right fielder Curtis Granderson was a late scratch from the starting lineup one day after being removed from Tuesday's game with right calf tightness. He entered as a pinch hitter and singled off reliever Oliver Perez.

Kelley, Washington's fourth pitcher in the inning, whiffed Alejandro De Aza with the potential tying runs in scoring position to end the eighth.

Making a spot start because Steven Matz was pushed back a day, Verrett lost his fifth straight decision. He allowed two runs and four hits, including Murphy's long drive that landed in the second deck, with four walks over five innings.

Jayson Werth's sacrifice fly scored Danny Espinosa for a 2-0 lead in the third.

Scherzer struck out at least 10 batters for the seventh time in 2016 and 43rd time in his career.

Yoenis Cespedes struck out three times against Scherzer, who lost 2-0 at the Mets on May 17 despite compiling 10 strikeouts.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Mets: RHP Noah Syndergaard, who struggled in Monday's opener, confirmed he has a bone spur in his elbow. He called it "pretty insignificant."

Nationals: RHP Jonathan Papelbon (right intercostal strain) threw around 30 pitches during a simulated game at Nationals Park. The closer will continue his rehab at Double-A Harrisburg, where he's expected to pitch in back-to-back games starting Friday.

UP NEXT

Mets: Matz (7-3, 3.29 ERA) faces Chicago Cubs RHP John Lackey (7-4, 3.29) on Thursday night in the opener of a four-game series at Citi Field, a rematch of last year's NL Championship Series that the Mets won in a four-game sweep.

Nationals: LHP Gio Gonzalez (3-7, 4.73 ERA) tries to snap a six-game losing streak. LHP Brandon Finnegan (3-6, 3.83) opens the four-game series for visiting Cincinnati.

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