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. [url=http://www.custombravesjersey.com/]Custom Braves Jerseys[/url] . Argentina winger Ezequiel Lavezzi and France midfielder Blaise Matuidi scored, with star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic setting up both despite having a poor game by his high standards. 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Inter president Erick Thohir says in a club statement on Wednesday that Vidic is "one of the worlds best defenders and his qualities, international pedigree, and charisma will be an asset.He led Saskatchewan to victory as a quarterback in one of the most exciting Grey Cup games ever in 1989, then again eight years later as the Roughriders head coach. On Sunday night, Kent Austin will return to Regina for the first time since 2007, but as the head coach, GM and football operations director of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Saskatchewans football fans are not only among the CFLs most rabid but also its most loyal. But its unclear how Austin will be received when he steps on to the field at Mosaic Stadium. "I dont really know and it doesnt really matter," Austin said Tuesday. "Listen, this games not about me. "Its about our two football teams and about our players and our staff getting our players prepared to play. It has very little to do with me." Austin spent his first seven CFL seasons with Saskatchewan, leading the Riders to a wild 43-40 Grey Cup win over Hamilton at Rogers Centre in 89. He threw for 474 yards and three TDs before smartly moving the Riders downfield to set up Dave Ridgways game-winning 35-yard field goal. Austin spent the final three years as a CFL player with B.C., Toronto and Winnipeg before returning to the CFL as a quarterbacks coach in 03 with Ottawa. He became Saskatchewans head coach in 07 and led the Riders to a 12-6 record before capping his rookie season on the sidelines celebrating a 23-19 Grey Cup win over Winnipeg. Two months later, he left Saskatchewan to become the offensive co-ordinator at his alma mater, Ole Miss, before being named Cornells head coach Jan. 26, 2010. Austin returned to the CFL on Dec. 17, 2012, joining the Ticats as their head coach, GM and director of football operations. However, he fondly remembers his time in Regina. "Great fans, they love their football team," he said. "Ive experienced that as a player and a coach and they have an environment you want in football. "Some of my best memories ever in football are obviously there and that team, that organization, that community means a lot to me and my wife and Im looking forward to going back trying to beat a really good football team with my guys." But Austins return isnt the only storyline this weekend. The Ticats roster also features quarterback Henry Burris, who had two stints in Regina (2000, 03-04) and slotback Andy Fantuz, a 2006 Riders first-round draft pick who spent his first six CFL seasons with Saskatchewan before signing as a free agent with Hamilton in 2012. Fantuz is doubtful for Sundays game due to injury. Riders linebacker Renauld Williams will face the Ticats for the first time since the CFL club released him this off-season. Hamilton gave Williams his walking papers despite finishing third overall in tackles in 2012 with a team-high 94. Williams amassed 185 tackles over two seasons with the Ticats after spending his first three seasons with Saskatchewan. Riders quarterback Darian Durants status is also unclear after he suffered a foot injury in Thursdays 39-288 road win over Toronto.dddddddddddd Durant hasnt thrown an interception in leading Saskatchewan (3-0) to the leagues lone unbeaten record. Slotback Geroy Simon is expected to make his Riders debut against Hamilton. Acquired in the off-season from B.C., the CFLs all-time receiving yards leader has been sidelined with a lower-body injury to start the season. --- RECORD START: Its been a record-setting start for Saskatchewan Roughriders running back Kory Sheets. The five-foot-11, 208-pound sophomore has a league-high 442 rushing yards for the unbeaten Roughriders (3-0), the most to start a season in league history. Sheets broke the mark of 411 yards set in 75 by Calgary running back Willie Burden. Granted its still early, but Sheets is on pace for over 2,600 rushing yards, which would smash Hall of Famer Mike Pringles league record of 2,065 yards established in 1998. Sheets also has Pringles league mark of 2,414 yards from scrimmage in his sights. He has accumulated 491 yards and is on pace for 2,946 yards. While Sheets rushing total is the best to start a season, hes not even close to CFL record for most total yards over a three-game span. Pringle holds that mark, having accumulated 548 yards late in 98 after performances of 186, 127 and 235 yards. Pringle also holds the CFL record for most rushing yards over a four-game span at 651, set in 98. Lost in Sheets impressive start is Calgarys Jon Cornish having rushed for 304 yards. At this pace, the native of New Westminster, B.C., would finish with over 1,800 yards and surpass the 1,457 he had last year when he broke Normie Kwongs 56-year-old single-season rushing record for Canadians. --- NO PANIC: The defending Grey Cup champions are 1-2 but Toronto head coach Scott Milanovich has some advice for Argonauts fans: Dont panic. "Wed rather be 3-0," Milanovich told reporters this week. "Its no time to panic. "A lot of these players and coaches have been in this spot before." Despite its record, Toronto is in a four-way tie for first in the East Division. Last season, Toronto posted a 9-9 record before winning all three of its post-season contests, including the iconic 100th Grey Cup game at Rogers Centre. This off-season, Milanovich was named the CFLs coach of the year. Toronto faces the Winnipeg Blue Bombers at Investors Group Field on Friday night. --- LOKOMBO ON LIST: A little pre-season recognition for Canadian Boseko Lokombo. The native of Abbotsford, B.C., is on the watch list for the 2013 Butkus award, given annually to the top linebacker in U.S. college football. Lokombo is entering his senior campaign at Oregon. Lokombo had 39 tackles, two sacks, two interceptions and a forced fumble in 13 games with Oregon last year. He was the top-ranked prospect for this years CFL draft but fell to B.C. in the third round because he was returning to school and is expected to garner NFL attention in 2014. Oregon kicks off its season Aug. 31 hosting Nicholls. ' ' '