Scherzer comes within 1 strike of per­fect game

The China Post - - SPORTS -

Washington’s Max Scherzer lost his bid for a per­fect game in star­tling fash­ion, hit­ting a bat­ter with a pitch with two outs in the ninth in­ning, and had to set­tle for a no-hitter as the Na­tion­als beat Pittsburgh 6-0 on Satur­day.

The vic­tory moved the Na­tional back to the top of the Na­tional League East di­vi­sion stand­ings, while in the NL West, San Fran­cisco beat the Los An­ge­les Dodgers to trim the gap be­tween the top teams to half a game.

The Chicago Cubs beat Min­nesota in 10 in­nings in their in­ter­league clash, while Alex Ro­driguez con­tin­ued his mem­o­rable week­end with five RBIs as the New York Yan­kees crushed Detroit.

Scherzer came within one strike of throw­ing the 22nd per­fect game — not al­low­ing any hits or walks — in ma­jor league history since 1900, and just needed to get one more bat­ter, Jose Ta­bata. The Pi­rates pinch-hitter fouled off three de­liv­er­ies with the count at two balls and two strikes, then seemed to slightly drop his el­bow and got clipped by Scherzer’s slider.

Scherzer im­me­di­ately gri­maced as the ball ric­o­cheted to the ground. The crowd at Na­tion­als Park seemed stunned, too, and surely many won­dered whether Ta­bata had leaned into the pitch to get hit.

Scherzer (8-5) then re­tired Josh Har­ri­son on a deep fly to left field and was swal­lowed up by ju­bi­lant team­mates near the mound. The 30-year-old righty struck out 10.

San Fran­cisco’s Justin Maxwell and Bran­don Belt hit two- run homers to lift the Giants to a 6-2 win against the Dodgers.

San Fran­cisco’s Tim Hud­son (5-6) pitched strongly into the sev­enth in­ning and got a key sin­gle for the Giants, who have won five straight over their archri­vals and nine of 11 this sea­son.

Los An­ge­les has been alone in first place for three weeks, but San Fran­cisco could re­claim the top spot with a se­ries sweep Sun­day.

Chicago’s Star­lin Cas­tro atoned for a costly er­ror the pre­vi­ous night with a two-run sin­gle in the 10th in­ning, lift­ing the Cubs to a 4-1 vic­tory over Min­nesota.

Cas­tro’s er­ror at short­stop in the first in­ning Fri­day got the Twins rolling to a 7-2 vic­tory, but he made up for that when he ripped a one-out pitch from Blaine Boyer into cen­ter field to break a 1-1 tie.

New York’s Alex Ro­driguez — a day af­ter reach­ing 3,000 ca­reer hits — con­trib­uted a homer and five RBIs to lead the Yan­kees to a 14-3 rout of Detroit.

Car­los Bel­tran went deep from both sides of the plate as New York banged out a sea­son-best 18 hits on Old-Timers’ Day to honor for­mer play­ers at Yan­kee Sta­dium.

Bal­ti­more ended Toronto’s ninegame home win­ning streak when Caleb Joseph sin­gled home the goa­head run with two outs in the ninth in­ning to give the Ori­oles a 5-3 vic­tory.

The Blue Jays fell just short of match­ing the long­est home win­ning streak in club history; they won 10 straight at Ex­hi­bi­tion Sta­dium in 1985.

With the score 2-2 in the top of the ninth, J.J. Hardy reached base on a force play and Ryan Fla­herty was hit by a pitch. Joseph then snapped a 0-for-9 slump with his go-ahead sin­gle. Manny Machado then hit a two-run dou­ble to pad the lead.

Seat­tle’s Tai­juan Walker struck out a ca­reer-high 11 while pitch­ing into the sev­enth in­ning to guide the Mariners past Hous­ton 6-3.

Walker (5-6) al­lowed five hits, and walked none in 6 1/3 in­nings.

Nel­son Cruz, Seth Smith and Mark Trumbo home­red for the Mariners, who have scored at least five runs in back-to-back games for the first time in two months.

Tampa Bay’s Evan Lon­go­ria hit a three-run homer in the first in­ning to lay the foun­da­tions for the Rays’ 4-1 win against Cleve­land.

Lon­go­ria, who has been play­ing with a sore left wrist, hit his first home run in ten days. The Rays have won eight of nine to climb to a sea­son-high 10 games over .500 (40-30).

Cleve­land’s reign­ing Cy Young­win­ning pitcher Corey Klu­ber (3-9) al­lowed four runs in seven in­nings to suf­fer his fourth straight loss.

At­lanta’s An­drel­ton Sim­mons got four hits as the Braves won 6-4 to send the New York Mets to a fourth suc­ces­sive loss, drop­ping them from the NL East lead.

The Mets also lost catcher Travis d’Ar­naud to an el­bow in­jury when he col­lided with Pe­dro Ciri­aco who scored stand­ing up from a sac­ri­fice fly in the sixth in­ning. New York said he’ll be as­sessed day to day.

Kansas City’s Kendrys Mo­rales home­red on his 32nd birth­day and the Roy­als ral­lied to beat Bos­ton 7-4.

St. Louis’ Ran­dal Grichuk hit two home runs, dou­bled and drove in four runs as the Car­di­nals cruised past Philadelphia 10-1.

San Diego’s Tyson Ross threw his third ca­reer com­plete game to guide the Padres to an 8-1 win against Ari­zona.

The Chicago White Sox snapped a sea­son-worst eight-game los­ing skid with a 3-2 win against Texas, with Car­los Rodon pitch­ing six ef- fec­tive in­nings.

Oak­land com­mit­ted their ma­jors-worst 70th er­ror of the sea­son but still beat the Los An­ge­les An­gels 4-1, as pitcher Jesse Hahn worked 7-2/3 in­nings for his third con­sec­u­tive win.

Mi­ami’s Justin Ni­col­ino pitched seven in­nings to win his ma­jor league de­but and lead the Mar­lins to a 5-0 vic­tory against Cincinnati.

Colorado’s Char­lie Black­mon home­red and drove in three runs to help the Rock­ies end a five-game skid by beat­ing Mil­wau­kee 5-1.

AP

St. Louis Car­di­nals’ Jon Jay, left, scores past Philadelphia Phillies catcher Car­los Ruiz, cen­ter, as home plate um­pire Mar­cus Pat­tillo watches dur­ing the eighth in­ning of a base­ball game, Satur­day, June 20.

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