MIAMI -- Max Scherzer strengthened his case for the NL Cy Young Award.Scherzer pitched 6 2/3 innings to tie for the National League victory lead with 18, helping the Washington Nationals beat the Miami Marlins 8-3 on Wednesday night.When we needed shut-down innings I was able to go out there and put up zeroes when we really needed it and it helped get the offense going, Scherzer said.Scherzer (18-7) allowed three runs and struck out eight to push his major league-leading total to 267. Hes tied for with Chicagos Jon Lester for the most wins in the NL.He should be in strong consideration for a Cy Young, Nationals manager Dusty Baker said. I talked to him earlier and I gave him a number and said lets win six or seven of them and he said, `I want to win all of them. Thats the attitude you want and thats the attitude that he carries and the guys love playing behind him.Ryan Zimmerman hit a three-run homer and Trea Turner also homered for the Nationals.We got some good offensive days out of some guys especially after our offense was a little sleepy the last couple of days, Baker said.Washington ended a four-game losing streak and lowered their magic number to two to win the NL East over the New York Mets with a chance to clinch on Friday at Pittsburgh.Ive never been a part of anything like this, but its exciting, Turner said. Every game means something even down the stretch playing for home-field advantage or whatever it may be. Its exciting and I enjoy it.Tom Koehler (9-12) allowed four runs -- three earned -- in four innings for the Marlins. They had won three in a row to stay in contention for the second wild card spot.It kind of leaves us in the same spot, Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. It wouldve been nice if we could have won and cut a game off. Hopefully the Dodgers win tonight.Christian Yelich hit a solo home run and Derek Dietrich hit a two-run homer to chase Scherzer in the seventh and cut it to 6-3.Prior to the home runs allowed by Yelich and Dietrich, Scherzer had only allowed two hits.Obviously there in the seventh-of course Im frustrated about that, Scherzer said. You cant walk away from an outing like that feeling great when you give up two home runs especially when your last pitch is a home run. But youll beat yourself up and drive yourself crazy if you try to sit here every single start worrying about the negatives. This start had way more positives and thats what Im going to focus on.Wilson Ramos had an RBI double and scored on a sacrifice fly in the eighth to extend the Nationals lead to 8-3.Washington scored its first run when Koehlers pick-off throw to second went into centerfield and Yelich was unable to field it cleanly allowing Danny Espinosa to score.Zimmermans three-run homer, his 15th, to left field gave the Nationals a 4-0 lead in the fourth.You cant really afford to spot Max a 4-0 lead, Koehler said. More times than not he gets four runs, hes not going to give it back.Jayson Werth had an RBI single and Turner hit his 12th home run for a 6-0 advantage.TRAINERS ROOMMarlins: RF Giancarlo Stanton was held out of the lineup after starting and homering in the last two games. Medical says he felt he needed a day so we gave a day, Mattingly said. ... LHP Adam Conley (finger) pitched a three-inning simulation game Wednesday with hopes of returning to the team before the season ends.UP NEXTNationals: LHP Gio Gonzalez (11-10, 4.48) will take the mound on Friday in Pittsburgh against RHP Jameson Tailon (4-4, 3.39) to begin a three-game series against the Pirates in the final road trip of the season. Gonzalez has allowed six runs in two of his last three starts.Marlins: RHP Jose Urena (4-7, 5.59) will start Thursdays game against Atlanta RHP Josh Collmenter (2-0, 4.61). Urena allowed seven runs in two innings in his last start at Philadelphia. Troy Tulowitzki Jersey . Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the Carolina Hurricanes, announced Wednesday that the team would assign Swedish forward Elias Lindholm to his nations team for the upcoming tournament. Joe Carter Jersey . Ouellette, from Montreal, already has three Olympic gold medals since joining the team in 1999. http://www.authenticbluejaysgear.com/blue-jays-j-a-happ-jersey/ . The giant slalom world champion slipped during her first run in the morning, landing on her back and then twisting forward before getting her leg caught in the protective material on the side of the slope. Jesse Barfield Jersey . Once again Jordan Cieciwa (@FitCityJordan) and I (@LynchOnSports) go head to head in our picks. Last weekend at UFC Fight Night 32 my #TeamLynch got the best of #TeamJC by a score of 9-6. Let us know which side youre on for UFC 167 use the hashtag #TeamLynch or #TeamJC on Twitter. Justin Smoak Jersey . -- San Francisco 49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks was fined $15,570 by the NFL on Wednesday for his hit on Saints quarterback Drew Brees last Sunday. ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Hector Santiago says he doesnt want to be traded, but if he keeps pitching like he is, he could draw plenty of interest from teams looking to make a playoff push.The non-waiver trading deadline is less than two weeks away, meaning Santiagos start for the Los Angeles Angels Wednesday against the Texas Rangers could be his last if the club decides to deal him.Santiago has a lot going for him -- hes left-handed, he has experience out of the bullpen, and most notably, hes on a roll.Santiago has thrown 22 consecutive innings without giving up an earned run. Hes lost just once over his last nine starts, the club going 7-2 in those games. However, he hasnt been very good against the Rangers, going 0-2 with a 7.07 ERA in three starts this season.The Rangers, though figure to see a different Santiago than the one they saw earlier this season.Its a combination of really good stuff with command, Angels manager Mike Scioscia said of Santiagos impressive stretch. Not only is he getting the ball in the zone, hes getting it into good spots. Hes pitching in well, changing speeds, getting the ball to the outside corner, he has some great life on his stuff.Trading Santiago, though, might not make financial sense to the Angels. Santiago is making $5 million this year and is eligible for arbitration in 2017. He isnt eligible for free agency until 2018.Left-hander Martin Perez will start for Texas.The Rangers figure to be involved in trade talks as well in the coming days, as infielder Jurickson Profar seems to be drawing plenty of interest. He didnt start Tuesdays game against the Angels, but he has started games this seasonn at four different positions -- first base, second base, shortstop and third base -- as well as designated hitter.ddddddddddddAnd now, Profar is taking fly balls in the outfield, expanding manager Jeff Banisters options to get him in the lineup more often. Profar leads the team in hitting with a .316 average.We are trying to expand his skill set, Banister told MLB.com. This is something we talked about. Look, he has been here long enough and we have challenged him to do a number of things and he has answered all the challenges. We like the professional at-bats he gives us. Expanding his versatility helps him out and helps us out. Players force you to either play them or take them out. He continues to play well.Profar said he has no problem moving around the field this year, but wants to be a starting shortstop next year, even if that means a trade.I have no problem with that if its going to make the team better, Profar told MLB.com. That means Im playing very good. That makes me happy.Profars versatility, though, would seem to make him a more valuable tool for the Rangers playoff push.One Ranger who isnt going anywhere is third baseman Adrian Beltre, who loves playing at Angel Stadium. 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