- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 12, 2015

PHOENIX (AP) - In the fourth inning, Chip Hale took slugger Paul Goldschmidt out of the game.

The Arizona Diamondbacks’ manager knew his team wasn’t coming back in this one, and he chose to give his best player a rare rest.

The Washington Nationals rocked Josh Collmenter for nine runs in the first two innings of an 11-1 rout Monday night.

“We get very few times where we take him (Goldschmidt) out of the game and at that time I felt we weren’t going to have a chance to come back,” Hale explained. “It is a hard thing to do for a manager because you are basically throwing in the towel. People think that.”

Denard Span and Ryan Zimmerman homered in a four-run first inning, then the Nationals added six in the second.

Collmenter (3-4) gave up a career-worst nine runs and eight hits in 1 1-3 innings.

“The fastball command, it is the beginning of everything I do well,” he said. “Tonight it was up in the zone and flat. When it is like that it is pretty easy to hit, as evidenced tonight.”

Hale said it was “a tough one to watch.”

“I feel bad for the fans,” he said. “It was over early, but it just counts for one loss. Hopefully we will be better tomorrow. I know we will be. It just wasn’t our night.”

The Nationals won their fifth in a row and 11th in 13 games.

“We’ve had some games where we’ve created some opportunities early and got one, maybe two,” manager Matt Williams said. “Tonight we got big hits.”

Yunel Escobar had his second career five-hit game, both in the past week.

Max Scherzer (3-3) shut out the Diamondbacks before giving up a home run to Jordan Pacheco in the sixth. The former Arizona first-round draft pick, pitching at Chase Field for the first time since he was traded to Detroit after the 2009 season, allowed five hits in seven innings. He struck out six, walked one and even had two of the Nationals’ 15 hits.

After his torrid week, Nationals slugger Bryce Harper was relatively quiet, going 1 for 4 with an RBI single.

Span hit a leadoff shot and Harper narrowly missed a home run in the first, but Zimmerman didn’t. He knocked Collmenter’s 2-1 delivery into the left-field seats and it was 4-0.

A bright spot for Arizona was Vidal Nuno. Just up from Triple-A Reno, he allowed two runs in 6 2-3 innings and struck out eight.

BRADLEY’S BACK

Arizona right-hander Archie Bradley threw about 60-65 pitches before the game, facing batters for the first time since being hit in the face by a line drive on April 28. He said he is ready to return to the rotation Saturday night at Philadelphia.

“It went well,” Bradley said. “I had a couple hit back at me, obviously a little scary but didn’t flinch, got right back up there.”

Bradley somehow escaped serious injury despite Carlos Gonzalez’s liner striking his right cheek after being hit at more than 100 mph. The severe swelling was gone. The only trace of what happened was a little black lingering beneath his right eye.

The rookie is 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA in four starts.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Nationals: After leaving Sunday’s game with a stomach ache, Escobar was back in the lineup. … Right-handed reliever Casey Janssen had his second rehab outing Sunday for Class A Potomac. He allowed three runs, one earned, and three hits in one inning. He threw nine pitches in a 1-2-3 inning in his initial appearance Thursday.

Diamondbacks: LHP Patrick Corbin, coming back from Tommy John surgery, pitched 3 1-3 innings in an extended spring training game. He threw 54 pitches, allowing two runs and four hits. He struck out five and walked two. Corbin is slated to make two more extended spring training starts, then report to Class A Visalia.

UP NEXT

Nationals: RHP Stephen Strasburg left his previous outing in the third inning and had his scheduled start pushed back a day to Tuesday. Strasburg said he’s fine. It will be his fourth start at Chase Field, where he is 2-1 with a 2.70 ERA.

Diamondbacks: RHP Rubby De La Rosa has a 10-inning scoreless streak going into the game. He blanked San Diego through seven innings in his last start with seven strikeouts.


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