Scherzer cools off Rays, Nats win 6-1 with makeshift lineup

Kurt Suzuki had an RBI double among his three hits and Michael A. Taylor drove in two runs for the last-place Nationals, who were missing several regulars and started utilityman Brock Holt at designated hitter for the sixth time in his career.

The Rays came in with a season-best 5 1/2-game lead in the AL East and had won 22 of 27, while the Nationals were coming off a 3-8 trip that left a playoff berth highly unlikely for the defending World Series champions.

In his second start since missing three weeks with shoulder inflammation, Tampa Bay right-hander Charlie Morton (1-2) threw 57 pitches in five innings, allowing three runs and four hits.

Rays: LHP Ryan Yarbrough, who missed his last start with left groin tightness, said he expects he will have no restrictions when he returns to the mound Tuesday.

Manager Kevin Cash said he would be “mindful” of players' workload during the final three weeks of the regular season but added that until the Rays clinch a playoff spot, “We've got a lot of work to do.”

Nationals: RH Aníbal Sánchez (1-4, 6.48 ERA) has worked past the sixth inning once in his seven starts this season, and that was his only victory — on Aug. 23 against Miami.

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