ATLANTA (AP) – Max Scherzer won for the first time in two months, Juan Soto homered and the Washington Nationals beat the Atlanta Braves 9-4 Sunday to stop the NL East leaders’ nine-game winning streak, their longest in five years.
Yan Gomes homered twice, and Adam Eaton and Asdrúbal Cabrera each had three RBIs to help Washington end a four-game skid. The Nationals are nine games back of the Braves with three weeks left but began the day with a two-game lead for the top NL wild card.
Scherzer (10-5) had not gotten a decision in four starts since beating Kansas City on July 6, a span that included nearly a month on the injured list because of a bad back.
The three-time Cy Young Award winner won his eighth straight decision, allowing one run and two hits in six innings with nine strikeouts and two walks. He stranded a pair of runners in scoring position in the fourth by striking out Tyler Flowers.
Scherzer has a 1.71 ERA in 14 starts since a May 17 loss to the Chicago Cubs. His 2.56 season ERA is second in the NL to Hyun-Jin Ryu’s 2.45. Atlanta’s Mike Soroka is third at 2.67.
Soroka (11-4) gave up four runs and seven hits in six innings. Atlanta had won its previous 13 home games.
Washington, which outhit the Braves 17-7, went ahead when Eaton hit a two-run homer on Siroka’s fifth pitch. Gomes homered in the second and Matt Joyce went deep in the bottom half, but Soto made it 4-1 in the third with his 33rd homer, an opposite-field drive to left.
Cabrera, who had four hits, had a two-run double in the seventh as Washington opened an 8-1 lead.
Charlie Culberson homered in the Braves’ three-run ninth, stopping an 0-for-26 slide.
Nationals: C Kurt Suzuki had an MRI on his right elbow and still feels tingling in his arm.
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Turner and Washington manager Dave Martinez were ejected by plate umpire Mike Estabrook for arguing balls and strikes in the top of the fifth. Turner thought a low fastball was ball four and flipped his bat as he started to jog toward first. He became incensed when Estabrook called strike three, then turned to face the umpire.
With 101 RBIs, Soto is the sixth player to reach 100 before his 21st birthday and the first since Alex Rodriguez in 1996. The others are Hall of Famers Mel Ott, Ted Williams, Ty Cobb and Al Kaline.
Washington: RHP Anibal Sánchez (8-7, 4.11 ERA) starts Tuesday’s series opener at AL Central leader Minnesota.
Atlanta: RHP Mike Foltynewicz (5-5, 5.28 ERA) is to start Monday’s opener of a four-game series at Philadelphia. He pitched five scoreless innings against Toronto in his last outing and is 7-3 with a 3.14 ERA in 13 starts and one relief appearance against the Phillies.