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nd half, Auburns Ronnie Johnson entered at point guard and scored six consecutiv

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    PHILADELPHIA -- For most pitchers, flirting with a no-hitter might be one of the most memorable days of your career. For Max Scherzer, it was just another day at the office.Scherzer didnt allow a hit until the sixth inning and he was dominant through eight as the Washington Nationals continued their mastery of the Philadelphia Phillies with a 3-2 victory Tuesday night.Scherzer (15-7) allowed three hits and struck out 11 while walking one. He was perfect through the first four innings, striking out five consecutive batters -- all swinging -- between the second and third innings.He has taken a no-hitter into the sixth in nine of his 61 all-time starts with the Nationals, and has allowed just five total hits in his last two outings.Hey man, I mean thats why hes Max, Washington manager Dusty Baker said. You know we had a good chance to win when Max pitches, and theres a good chance of him going deep in the game.Ryan Howard, who got the start despite being 1 for 18 with 11 strikeouts against Scherzer coming in, hit an opposite-field two-run home run in the seventh inning to break up the shutout and pull the Phillies within 3-2.But Scherzer closed the door from there, striking out three more in the seventh and eighth en route to his 15th win of the season.I knew I was throwing the ball well, I knew I had all the pitches working, I knew I could go out there and keep different looks going multiple times throughout the lineup and really sequence guys right, Scherzer said. When Im able to throw all my pitches for strikes it really allows (catcher Wilson Ramos) to do his job back there and come up with the right sequence.Mark Melancon pitched a scoreless ninth for his 37th save, getting a strikeout and inducing a big game-ending double play after issuing a leadoff walk.Freddy Galvis and Odubel Herrera collected the only other hits for the Phillies, who have lost six of eight to fall 12 games below .500. They have dropped their last eight games to first-place Washington, which matches the team record for consecutive losses vs. the Nationals/Expos franchise.We need to improve our plate discipline, Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. Were just not getting hits. But Scherzer was dominant, youve got to give him credit. Hes a tough cookie.Scherzer, who pitched two no-hitters last season, didnt allow a runner to reach base until Phillies catcher Cameron Rupp walked with one out in the fifth. Galvis ripped a double to right-field to lead off the sixth to break up Scherzers no-hit bid, but was picked off second base by Scherzer to end the scoring threat.The Washington ace also had a sacrifice-bunt RBI in the fourth after Ryan Zimmerman walked and Danny Espinosa ripped a single.The Nationals staked Scherzer to an early lead in the first inning. With two outs and nobody on, Daniel Murphy doubled before scoring on a double by Bryce Harper, his 19th RBI in the last 19 games. Ramos brought Harper home with an RBI single to put the Nats ahead 2-0.He can smell it, Baker said. When he gets some runs, its usually a shutdown inning. He doesnt give it right back. It usually takes a while for them to score off of Max.Phillies starter Jerad Eickhoff (9-13), who walked just six batters in his last eight starts coming in, issued three walks and allowed five hits and three earned runs through six innings.Scherzers double-digit strikeout game was the 12th of the season, setting a Nationals record. He improved his career record to 7-1 against the Phillies, including a 6-0 mark since he joined the Nats in 2015.HOWARDS STILL GOT POPHowards homer was the 20th of the season and the 377th of his career, tying him with Jeff Kent and Norm Cash for 73rd on MLBs all-time list. His next home run will tie him with Matt Williams for 72nd place.He has 10 career 20-homer seasons, the second most in Phillies history behind only Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt (14).HOME-PLATE COLLISIONThe fourth inning ended when Espinosa was thrown out at the plate on a dart from Phillies right fielder Aaron Altherr. On the play, Espinosa collided with Rupp at home, which seemed to anger some Phillies.Afterwards, Mackanin admitted that he didnt think he had to bowl him over, but Howard laughed that Rupp probably liked it and thats baseball.OWNING PHILLYThe Nationals, who opened their six-game road trip with a 4-0 victory over the Phillies on Monday, are 7-1 at Citizens Bank Park this season.TRAINERS ROOMPhillies: Peter Bourjos missed his second straight game after getting hit in the left wrist by a pitch Sunday.UP NEXTThe Phillies and Nationals wrap up their three-game series Wednesday night with Philadelphia LHP Adam Morgan (1-8, 6.50) opposing LHP Gio Gonzalez (9-9, 4.25). 10 VCU 85-67 on Thursday night at the Puerto Rico Tip-Off. The Seminoles (4-0) have scored at least 80 points in each of their games. -- Matt Ryan needed one of the best games of his career to lead the Falcons and their depleted offence out of their three-game losing streak last week. If ever they start actually putting pictures beside words in the dictionary, the Blue Jays left-handers mug will appear beside “Consistency. R.J. Umberger scored twice to lead the Blue Jackets to a franchise-record for consecutive wins with a 5-3 victory Tuesday night over the Los Angeles Kings. Only three players drafted by NHL clubs were included on the Czech selection camp roster on Wednesday. Those players were Dallas Stars 2012 first-rounder Radek Faksa, Winnipeg Jets 2013 fourth-rounder Jan Kostalek and Phoenix Coyotes 2012 seventh-rounder Marek Langhamer. BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- In its first true road test with a young team, Auburn passed with flying colors.Jared Harper scored 21 points and Danjel Purifoy added 16 to lead Auburn to a 74-70 victory over UAB on Saturday night.The young Tigers (6-1) proved capable of handling a hostile environment in their first true road game of the season, outlasting UAB (4-4) in front of the first sellout crowd at Bartow Arena since March 23, 2010.We did not play well in the first half and we were very fortunate to be in range, Auburn coach Bruce Pearl said. I think UAB probably went into the locker room at halftime going, `Gosh, were only up by three. They outplayed us, they defended us, they rattled us. And our freshmen, with the exception of Jared Harper, looked like freshmen. Then in the second half, we played pretty well.Auburn shot 50 percent from the field and outscored UAB 41-33 in the second half. The Tigers knocked down 11 3-pointers, the most since they made 13 in the season opener against North Florida, outscoring UAB 33-12 from beyond the arc.Harper torched the Blazers for 15 points on five 3-pointers in the first half, but the true freshman was forced to take a seat early in the second half with three fouls.I told you he was going to be worth the price of admission, and he is, Pearl said. As a little, quick guard with that kind of range, he kept us in range (in the first half).Purifoy, the freshman forward who was tied with Mustapha Heron for the team lead in points per game entering the contest, stepped up in Harpers absence. Purifoy scored 11 of his 14 points in the second half, including three of his four 3-pointers.Heron also asserted himself in the second half, scoring eight of his 11 points after the intermission.We had to (step up), Purifoy said. Like I said in the beginning, Jared, he led us on his back. He kind of fell short a little bit in the second half, but we had to pick him up and he started getting going again.UAB earned a 40-31 advantage on thee boards, but leading scorer Chris Cokley was forced out of the game with 8:24 remaining when he was called for a personal foul and subsequently drew a technical foul call for arguing with the referee.dddddddddddd He finished with eight points and seven rebounds.William Lee led UAB with 13 points, and Hakeem Baxter added 12 points on 5 of 8 shooting.Auburn regained the lead, its first since the 13:29 mark in the first half, on a T.J. Dunans jumper with 13:34 remaining in the second half. The bucket came in the middle of a 14-2 run that gave Auburn the lead for good.I thought we got off to a very good start feeding off the crowd and ended the half on a high note, UAB coach Rob Ehsan said. We got into a lull in the second half offensively. We couldnt get a rhythm going.BIG PICTUREAuburn: UABs advantage in the post was negated by the Tigers athleticism and hot shooting stroke from outside. The win gave Auburn some momentum as it heads into an 8-day hiatus.UAB: The Blazers season has been up and down so far, as theyve been unable to win consecutive games over their first eight contests. They hit the road twice in the next week looking for some consistency.ROLE PLAYERAs Harper dealt with foul trouble early in the second half, Auburns Ronnie Johnson entered at point guard and scored six consecutive points in the second half to stretch Auburns lead to eight with 11:17 remaining.STAT OF THE NIGHTHarper and Purifoy combined to make seven of eight free throws in the final 2:24 of the game, icing the victory for Auburn as UAB vied for a late comeback.UP NEXTAuburn: The Tigers get an extended break before traveling to New York on Monday, Dec. 12, to face Boston College in the Under Armour Reunion at Madison Square Garden.UAB: The Blazers will look to get back on track Wednesday at Stephen F. Austin after their second loss in three games. Wholesale Jerseys ' ' '

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