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WASHINGTON (AP) As the Nationals eye a late-season charge , Max Scherzer is doing his part.struck out 10 in six innings for his fifth win in as many starts on Thursday night, helping Washington to a 10-4 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.Scherzer (15-5) also singled in a run off Tyler Mahle (7-9) during a six-run second as the Nationals won their third straight and sixth of eight. He’s batting .292, almost 100 points above his career average.”What I love about him is he plays the whole game. He pays attention to everything,” Nats manager Dave Martinez said of Scherzer, who also put down two sacrifice bunts. ”His at-bat, his bunting, all of it. He’s just a competitor.”Washington slugger Bryce Harper hit his 26th homer of the season, a blast into the second deck in right-center in the eighth.Trea Turner connected for his 14th homer in the same inning and finished with four RBIs for the third-place Nationals, who are two games above .500 for the first time since July 7. They remain five games back of Philadelphia and 4 1/2 behind Atlanta in the NL East.”We’ve said from Day 1, this team is as good as anybody in the National League, in baseball,” Scherzer said. ”We’ve just been playing better baseball. That’s all it is.”Cincinnati’s Eugenio Suarez belted his 25th homer, the only major blemish for Scherzer, who allowed four hits and two walks.Mahle failed to make it through the second inning for a second consecutive start. Going back four starts, the rookie right-hander has managed only 10 2/3 innings while watching his ERA jump more than a full run to 4.95.”He’s been kind of toying with his delivery and where he’s standing on the rubber Josh Donaldson Jersey ,” Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman said. ”I think he’s thinking about a lot of things. A couple of his quality pitches have gotten away from him a little bit. … So, yeah, there’s reason for concern.”It was 1-0 before Mahle allowed Scherzer’s one-out single to score Juan Soto.”That’s a huge at-bat in that No. 9 spot,” Harper said. ”For him to be able to get on base and get guys over, that changed the ballgame for us.”Two batters later, Scherzer darted home from second on Turner’s two-run single. Mahle departed two batters after that when he walked Harper with the bases loaded to make it 5-0.Keury Mella entered and promptly walked Soto to force another run across before Matt Adams‘ flyout ended the inning.Scherzer returned mound in the third having thrown only 25 pitches. In the fourth, he faced seven batters including Suarez, who launched a shot that cleared the visitors’ bullpen in left.Two innings later, Suarez flew out to center. Scherzer fanned Preston Tucker with his final pitch, a 90-mph cutter, reaching double digits in strikeouts for the 11th time in 23 starts this season.”To have him throw 110 pitches in six innings is an indication that we were getting some good at-bats,” Riggleman said. ”He’s just really tough. The Cy Youngs are obviously warranted.”BACK IN TOWNRiggleman managed at Nationals Park for the first time since resigning from Washington’s top post in June 2011, when the team declined to pick up his contract option for 2012. He had taken over the job in July 2009.”It wasn’t a smart decision, career-wise,” Riggleman said before the game. ”But I felt like it was the right decision. That never changed.”BACK TO BACKWith his July performance Joe Carter Jersey , Soto took a second consecutive NL Rookie of the Month honor. He led NL rookies during the month in batting (.299), on-base percentage (.398), slugging (.526), OPS (.924), hits (29), RBIs (15) and walks (16). He tied Atlanta’s Ronald Acuna Jr. with five homers.TRAINER’S ROOMNationals: RHPs Stephen Strasburg (neck) and Erick Fedde (shoulder) will throw from flat ground once more before progressing to a mound, manager Dave Martinez said. Strasburg, who last pitched on July 20, will probably need at least one rehab start, Martinez said.UP NEXTReds: RHP Anthony DeSclafani (4-3, 5.47 ERA) starts for Cincinnati on Friday. He is 1-0 with a 2.45 ERA in six appearances against Washington.Nationals: LHP Gio Gonzalez (6-7, 3.78) tries for his first win since May 28.— NEW YORK — If history is any indication, the Miami Marlins will have a tough time building on the momentum of Tuesday night’s series-opening win over the New York Mets – especially since the Mets won’t have Jacob deGrom to not support during Wednesday’s doubleheader. The bottom two teams in the National League East are scheduled to play an old-fashioned doubleheader Wednesday afternoon, when the Mets host the Marlins in the middle two games of a four-game series at Citi Field. The first game, necessitated by a rainout on Monday , is scheduled to start at 4:10 PM. The regularly scheduled game will take place 20 minutes after the conclusion of the opener.The Marlins’ Trevor Richards (3-8, 4.73 ERA) is scheduled to oppose the Mets’ Zack Wheeler (10-7, 3.39 ERA) in a battle of right-handers in the opener. Miami right-hander Jeff Brigham (0-1, 9.00 ERA) is slated to face New York left-hander Jason Vargas (5-9, 6.75 ERA) in the nightcap.Article continues below ...The Marlins won the opener Tuesday night, when Lewis Brinson laced a two-run double off deGrom in the fourth inning to give Miami a lead it would never relinquish in a 5-3 victory.The game was the first since Saturday for the Marlins (57-86), whose scheduled series finale against the host Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday afternoon was rained out.“It’s exciting, I think guys are ready to play more baseball,” said Marlins rookie third baseman Brian Anderson, who started the fourth-inning rally with Miami’s first hit, a two-out single. “We had a couple days off, so getting a win under our belt (and) kind of kick-starting the series, I think is good for us. We’re excited and we’re looking forward to (Wednesday).”A win in the opener Wednesday would give the Marlins just their third winning streak since Aug. 1. Miami hasn’t won more than two straight games since a four-game streak from July 14-21.Unfortunately for the Marlins, there’s a pretty good chance the Mets (65-78) will feel more relaxed without trying to score runs for deGrom, who allowed two runs over seven innings Tuesday but fell to 8-9 despite a 1.71 ERA.The Mets scored just three runs with deGrom on the mound in his last four starts and have scored only 72 runs with him on the mound in 29 starts overall this season. “These guys Kendrys Morales Jersey , they want to score for him so bad you can see it,” Mets manager Mickey Callaway said Tuesday night. “That’s the only thing I feel on the bench. Unfortunately, we just haven’t done that very much this season.”The Mets have been far more generous lately with Wheeler and Vargas. New York has scored 47 runs in Wheeler’s last 10 starts and 23 in Vargas’ last eight appearances.Wheeler benefitted from an outburst in his most recent start Sept. 5, when he received seven runs while pitching and earned the win after allowing three runs over seven innings as the Mets beat the Los Angeles Dodgers, 7-3.Vargas took the loss in his most recent start Sept. 4, when he gave up five runs (four earned) over 3 1/3 innings as the Mets fell to the Dodgers, 11-4.Richards endured the shortest start of his rookie season in his previous start Sept. 4, when he gave up six runs over 1 1/3 innings and took the loss as the Marlins were beaten by the Philadelphia Phillies, 9-4. Brigham will be making his second big league start and appearance. He lost his debut on Sept. 2, when he allowed three runs over three innings as Miami fell to the Toronto Blue Jays, 6-1.Wheeler is 4-2 with a 2.13 ERA in 10 career starts against the Marlins. Vargas is 1-1 with a 3.27 ERA in two career starts against Miami. Richards has never faced the Mets.