WASHINGTON -- Max Scherzer struck out 20 batters, matching the major league record for a nine-inning game as he pitched the Washington Nationals past the Detroit Tigers 3-2 on Wednesday night.
Scherzer had a chance to break the mark when James McCann stepped to the plate with two outs in the ninth inning. McCann, who whiffed his previous three times up, grounded to third for the final out.
The breathtaking performance came in Scherzer's first outing against the Tigers, his former team. The right-hander, who pitched two no-hitters last season and struck out 17 in the second one, joined Roger Clemens (twice), Kerry Wood and Randy Johnson as the only big league pitchers to compile 20 strikeouts in nine innings.
Johnson accomplished his feat in nine innings during a game that went 11. Tom Cheney holds the major league record with 21 strikeouts when he pitched all 16 innings for the Washington Senators during a game against Baltimore in 1962.
"I think it was about the eighth inning when I punched out somebody and they said that was 18, that was the first time I heard the number, so I knew I had a shot at going out for the ninth and 20," Scherzer said (see full recap).
Bradley Jr. homers twice in Red Sox victory
BOSTON -- Jackie Bradley Jr. had two home runs and six RBIs to extend his hitting streak to 17 games, and the Boston Red Sox completed a three-game sweep of the Oakland Athletics with a 13-3 win on Wednesday night.
Boston scored six runs in the first four innings and then had four more in the fifth to post its third straight game with at least 10 runs. Dustin Pedroia added a home run and the Red Sox finished with a season-high 17 hits.
For the series Bradley finished 8 for 14 with three homers and 13 RBIs. The Red Sox outscored the Athletics 40-15.
Oakland has lost a season-high five straight.
Rick Porcello (6-1) got the win, and has now pitched six or more innings in 15 straight starts -- extending the longest active streak in the majors.
Eric Surkamp (0-3) took the loss after giving up four runs in just 2 2-3 innings of work (see full recap).
Giants win in 13 innings on bases-loaded walk
SAN FRANCISCO -- Buster Posey walked with the bases loaded in the 13th inning and the San Francisco Giants salvaged one win in a three-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays, 5-4 on Wednesday.
Brandon Belt was hit by a pitch to open the inning and Denard Span's bunt attempt was mishandled at second. Following a wild pitch, Joe Panik was walked intentionally.
Matt Duffy lined out to first base before Posey saw four straight balls from Ryan Tepera (0-1).
Albert Suarez (1-0) pitched an inning for his first major-league victory.
Madison Bumgarner pitched 6 2/3 solid innings, allowing one run on three hits. He owns a 1.87 ERA over his last five starts (see full recap).