Scherzer loses no-hit­ter, game in 8th in­ning

The Washington Times Daily - - SPORTS - BY STEVEN WINE

MI­AMI | When Max Scherzer’s bid for the third no-hit­ter of his big league ca­reer ended with an in­field sin­gle in the eighth in­ning, he picked up the ball and flung it to­ward his dugout.

Not as a sou­venir. Seven in­nings of dom­i­nance fol­lowed by an eighth-in­ning dis­as­ter left Scherzer in no mood for keep­sakes.

Backup catcher A.J. El­lis beat out a chop­per for the first hit off Scherzer, who then gave up two un­earned runs as the Mi­ami Mar­lins ral­lied to beat the Wash­ing­ton Na­tion­als 2-1 Wed­nes­day.

Af­ter El­lis reached, Scherzer tried to gather him­self as pitch­ing coach Mike Mad­dux vis­ited the mound.

“Those type of plays hap­pen,” Scherzer said. “Ob­vi­ously you’re frus­trated, but you’ve got to move on. I hit the re­set but­ton. We went through how we wanted to fin­ish, and I just wasn’t able to do it.

An er­ror by backup first base­man Adam Lind, who bob­bled a low throw, and a hit bat­ter loaded the bases with two outs. Scherzer threw a wild pitch that scored the ty­ing run , and Gian­carlo Stan­ton lined an RBI sin­gle – the Mar­lins’ only other hit – to put them ahead.

“A cou­ple of slid­ers got away from me,” Scherzer said. “That’s what cost me. That’s what lost the game.”

Scherzer (8-5) threw no-hit­ters against the Pi­rates and Mets in 2015, and a third seemed in his grasp when he be­gan the eighth with a 1-0 lead.

He re­tired 18 in a row be­fore El­lis topped a high-hop­per that bounced in front of the plate and glanced off the tip of Scherzer’s glove as he reached over­head for it. The ball rolled to short­stop Trea Turner, who failed in his at­tempt to make a bare­handed pickup and rush a throw.

Scherzer said the chop­per was nearly a rou­tine 1-3 putout.

“I was able to get a glove on it, and I thought I had caught it,” Scherzer said. “When I looked at the glove, it was

empty.”

“A cheap in­field hit,” Na­tion­als man­ager Dusty Baker said.

Scherzer’s pitch count of 98 en­ter­ing the eighth was a con­cern. He and Baker agreed he was still strong, but Na­tion­als catcher Jose Lo­ba­ton won­dered whether the right-handed work­horse could fin­ish.

“He was run­ning out of gas,” Lo­ba­ton said.

Scherzer ended up at 121 pitches, one less than his high in three sea­sons with the Na­tion­als.

“It was his game,” Baker said. “He was still throw­ing the ball great. Who could you bring in who was throw­ing bet­ter than him?”

The Mar­lins pitched well, too, and Wash­ing­ton to­taled only five hits against Dan Straily and three re­liev­ers. Kyle Bar­r­a­clough (3-1) pitched the eighth, and A.J. Ramos worked around a two-out sin­gle in the ninth for his 10th save. Mi­ami took the three-game se­ries against the NL East lead­ers, win­ning twice by a sin­gle run.

“All you need is a lit­tle blooper or a hit like El­lis got to get us started,” Stan­ton said. “It worked out for us.”

The only no-hit­ter in the ma­jors this year was achieved on the same mound by Mi­ami’s Edin­son Volquez against Ari­zona on June 3.

The crowd of 22,659 for the 12:10 p.m. start in­cluded thou­sands of young­sters on camp day, and they gave the game a scream-filled sound­track.

The score was 0-0 un­til Ryan Raburn hit his first homer of the year in the fifth. Raburn was a late re­place­ment for out­fielder Michael A. Tay­lor, who was scratched be­cause of sore­ness.

That was the lone run al­lowed by Straily, who went six in­nings.

Scherzer walked Chris­tian Yelich with two out in the first and hit Derek Di­et­rich with a pitch with one out in the sec­ond. That was the last baserun­ner Scherzer al­lowed un­til the eighth.

“It stinks that we lost,” Raburn said, “but he pitched his tail off.”

Scherzer has held the op­po­si­tion hit­less through five in­nings in 11 of his 82 starts for Wash­ing­ton.

“That was prob­a­bly the best I’ve seen him,” Stan­ton said. “Balls were zoom­ing. He was mix­ing his fast­ball and slider speeds and an­gles.”

Scherzer had 11 strike­outs, reach­ing dou­ble fig­ures for the sixth game in a row, the team’s long­est such streak such the fran­chise moved to Wash­ing­ton for the 2005 sea­son.

He low­ered his ERA to 2.08, best in the NL. He also leads the league with 145 strike­outs.

The Na­tion­als’ Ryan Zim­mer­man and Daniel Mur­phy, who rank 1-2 in the NL in bat­ting, were given the af­ter­noon game off. Bryce Harper went 0 for 4, end­ing his ca­reer-best 13-game hit­ting streak.

Baker de­clined to elab­o­rate on Tay­lor’s ail­ment. Na­tion­als third base­man Anthony Ren­don (sore neck) was back in the lineup af­ter miss­ing two games.

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Wash­ing­ton Na­tion­als pitcher Max Scherzer re­tired 18 straight bat­ters and took a no­hit­ter into the eighth in­ning be­fore the Mi­ami Mar­lins ral­lied to win, 2-1, Wed­nes­day.

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