By DAVID GINSBURG, AP Sports Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Washington Nationals tied a franchise record with eight home runs, including two apiece by Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman, and Max Scherzer pitched six innings of three-hit ball in a 15-2 rout of the fading Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday.
Washington matched two major league records in a seven-run third inning: Most consecutive home runs (four) and most home runs in an inning (five).
After Harper connected off Michael Blazek (0-1) in the first inning, Brian Goodwin started the long-ball barrage in the third with a two-run drive. Wilmer Difo, Harper and Zimmerman followed with long home runs.
The streak was interrupted when Daniel Murphy flied out, after which some of the fans reacted with good-natured booing.
Anthony Rendon resumed the fun with a shot to dead center that finally chased Blazek, whose first major league start was memorable for all the wrong reasons.
Zimmerman and Jose Lobaton both homered off Wily Peralta in the fourth for a 15-1 lead.
The eight home runs tied the franchise mark set in July 1978 by the Montreal Expos against Atlanta.
Scherzer (12-5) allowed one run and struck out nine to bring his total this year to 201 — his sixth consecutive season with at least 200, the longest active streak in the majors.
The right-hander had plenty of offensive support, most notably from Harper, who had three hits and four RBIs while extending his career-best hitting streak to 19 games.
Travis Shaw and Lewis Brinson homered for the Brewers, who have lost nine of 11 to drop from first place in the NL Central.
Blazek gave up seven hits, six of them home runs, in just 2 1/3 innings. Peralta allowed seven runs and eight hits in 1 2/3 innings, a performance that raised his ERA to 7.85.
MOVE OVER, HONDO
Zimmerman’s two home runs upped his total with the Nationals to 237, tied with Frank Howard for most in Washington history.
Known affectionately as “Hondo,” the 6-foot-7 Howard played with the expansion Senators from 1965-71.
The Brewers added RHP Anthony Swarzak to the roster after obtaining him Wednesday in a trade with the White Sox.
Nationals: RHP Stephen Strasburg (10-3, 3.25 ERA) was placed on the 10-day disabled list with an elbow impingement. Manager Dusty Baker expects Strasburg to miss only one start. … OF Michael Taylor (oblique strain) is almost ready to begin baseball activities, Baker said. Taylor has been on the DL since July 7.
Brewers: Brent Suter (1-1, 2.84 ERA) takes the mound Friday night in the opener of a three-game showdown with the visiting Chicago Cubs.
Nationals: Tanner Roark (8-6, 4.83 ERA) helps Washington launch a three-game series at home against the Colorado Rockies.
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