WASHINGTON -- As soon as Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth made contact, he tossed his bat into the dugout, turned toward his teammates and let out a yell. It was the fourth inning of his first game in nearly three months, and he had launched his longest home run of the
WASHINGTON -- As soon as Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth made contact, he tossed his bat into the dugout, turned toward his teammates and let out a yell. It was the fourth inning of his first game in nearly three months, and he had launched his longest home run of the season into the left-field seats during Monday night's 11-2 win over the Marlins.
"He hit that bomb, and old grandpa looked over at the dugout and gave a big scream, so you know he's back," right-hander Max Scherzer said with a laugh. "It's fun to have him back doing what he can do."
Scherzer and Werth were both activated from the disabled list and immediately pitched in to help lead the Nationals to victory.
Scherzer is not used to being on the DL, but the inflammation on the left side of his neck forced him to miss a turn through the rotation. It marked only the second trip of his career and first as a member of the Nationals to the DL, coming during a season in which he might be the favorite for the NL Cy Young Award.
However, Scherzer seemingly picked up right where he left off, throwing seven innings of one-run ball with 10 strikeouts.
"We're glad he's back on the mound because he was driving himself crazy and driving us crazy, too, " Nationals manager Dusty Baker said. "It was great to see Scherz back out there."
Werth had been sidelined for much longer than Scherzer. He acknowledged his stint on the DL took much longer than he anticipated when he initially fouled a ball off his foot on June 3 in Oakland. He ended up missing 75 games with a fractured left foot. When he first came to bat in the second inning, he received a rousing standing ovation from the crowd at Nationals Park.
His second at-bat sent them into a frenzy.
Werth launched a two-run homer off Marlins right-hander Jose Urena. The ball traveled 425 feet, according to Statcast™, for his longest homer of the season. After he returned to the dugout, the cheering did not stop, and Werth eventually rewarded the fans with a curtain call.
"In some sense, I feel like I kind of got the game taken away from me a little bit," Werth said. "I had such big aspirations for this season, and not that those still can't be fulfilled, but it was almost three months that I didn't get to play.
"It was great to be back tonight, just to be a part of this club. These guys have been playing so good, and I want to be part of the machine, so to speak. It is exciting. I was excited, obviously a little more emotional than usual."
With Bryce Harper (left knee) on the DL, Baker said Werth will take over as the primary right fielder.
And more help is on the way for the Nationals: Shortstop Trea Turner will be activated from the DL for today's game, Baker announced, giving the Nationals another boost at the top of the order.
"We've still got some time," Werth said. "We need to get this thing rolling and get the synergy to where we want it and get everybody rolling again. But [it] looks like that's gonna happen, so that's exciting. These guys have done great with everybody out. We've got a nice lead. September should be a lot of fun, and hopefully October is even more fun."
Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.