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Juan Soto’s homer isn’t enough as Nats fall to Mets

Aug 1, 2022; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Max Scherzer (21) throws to the Washington Nationals during the second inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Juan Soto homered in what might have been his final game as a National, but Max Scherzer and the visiting New York Mets defeated Washington 7-3 on Monday night.

Soto, among the biggest potential prizes before the Tuesday trade deadline, also walked three times and scored twice. As he trotted to first after a free pass in the eighth inning, he received a warm ovation from a Nationals Park crowd.

Pete Alonso and Francisco Lindor homered while Brandon Nimmo had four hits for New York, which has won seven straight.

Scherzer (7-2) didn’t dominate his former club but did enough. He went 6 2/3 innings, allowing three runs, two earned, on six hits. He walked two and struck out five while throwing a season-high 105 pitches. In six starts since returning from the injured list, Scherzer has fashioned a 1.62 ERA.

Washington starter Patrick Corbin (5-15) gave up four runs on seven hits in 4 1/3 innings while losing his fifth consecutive start. He walked one and fanned four.

Luis Garcia had two hits for the Nationals, and Josh Bell, a strong trade candidate, went 1-for-4 with a double.

The Nationals took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when right fielder Starling Marte’s throwing error allowed Soto to score on Bell’s double.

Corbin couldn’t hold the advantage as the Mets got three runs in the second on RBI singles by Jeff McNeil, Tomas Nido and Marte.

With one out in the third, Alonso jumped on Corbin’s first-pitch slider and hit a liner to left for his 27th homer of the season.

Washington crept within 4-3 in the fourth. Soto connected with a 1-1 fastball from Scherzer for his 21st home run, and singles by Yadiel Hernandez, Nelson Cruz and Garcia produced another run.

The Mets pulled away with a two-out rally in the sixth. After Nimmo doubled off Andres Machado, Washington manager Dave Martinez called on Steve Cishek. Marte was hit by a pitch, and Lindor golfed a 2-0 fastball into the bullpen in left-center to make 7-3.

New York relievers Joely Rodriguez (one inning) and Adam Ottavino (1 1/3 innings) closed out the win.

–Field Level Media