Kyle Schwarber’s 9th-inning homer lifts the Washington Nationals over Arizona

Apr 16, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Nationals center fielder Victor Robles (16) and Nationals left fielder Juan Soto (22) kneel in prayer prior to their game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Schwarber homered in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the host Washington Nationals a 1-0, walk-off win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday.

Facing Alex Young (0-3) with one out, Schwarber got under a 2-1 sinker for a 463-foot blast to right center.

It was Schwarber’s first homer as a National, and it broke an 0-for-12 skid.

“To be able to put that swing on the ball there and give us a win, can’t ask for anything better,” he said during an on-field interview after the game.

Brad Hand (1-0) pitched a scoreless ninth inning for the win. Three Washington pitchers limited the Diamondbacks to three hits and two walks while striking out 13.

Josh Harrison had two hits for Washington.

One night after the Diamondbacks clubbed four home runs off Washington pitchers in an 11-6 win, Nationals starter Max Scherzer shut them out for seven dominant innings. He allowed two singles while striking out 10 and walking two over 106 pitches.

Scherzer (2,808 career strikeouts) passed Cy Young (2,803) for 22nd place on the all-time whiff list.

Over his past two starts, Scherzer has allowed one run in 13 innings. He has 24 strikeouts in 19 innings over his three starts this season.

Arizona’s Taylor Widener, making his third major league start, matched zeros with Scherzer for six innings, giving up only four hits while striking out three with two walks.

Harrison and Starlin Castro singled with one out in the Washington second, but Widener retired Alex Avila and Victor Robles.

Before the game, Nationals manager Dave Martinez said starting pitcher Jon Lester is getting closer to returning from his stint on the COVID-related injury list.

Martinez said Lester felt good after throwing a three-inning, 49-pitch simulated game in Fredericksburg, Va. The left-hander is likely to make at least one more rehab start before rejoining the rotation.

–Field Level Media