Max Scherzer strikes out 20 in Washington Nationals win

washington nationalsMax Scherzer made history Wednesday night, striking out 20 Detroit Tigers in a 3-2 Washington Nationals win.

Scherzer (4-2, 4.15 ERA) gave up two runs, on solo homers by Jose Iglesias and J.D. Martinez, on six hits and walked two.

The righty threw 119 pitches, 96 for strikes, and actually had a chance to break the 20-strikeout barrier in the ninth, which he entered with 18 Ks.

After giving up a leadoff homer to Martinez to start the ninth, Scherzer struck out Miguel Cabrera, gave up a single to Victor Martinez, then struck out Justin Upton to tie the record.

James McCann, who struck out three times on the night, grounded an 0-1 pitch to third baseman Anthony Rendon, who threw to second to force out pinch-runner Andrew Romine for the third out.

Scherzer became the fourth pitcher in Major League history to notch 20 strikeouts in a nine-inning game: joining Roger Clemens, who did it twice, Kerry Wood and Randy Johnson on that list.

Danny Espinosa hit a solo homer, his third, and Daniel Murphy continued his torrid early-season stretch with a 3-for-4 night that raised his batting average to .409.

Murphy also had two runs batted in for Washington (21-13).

Former Nats starter Jordan Zimmerman (5-2, 1.50 ERA) took the loss for Detroit (15-17).

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