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Max Scherzer ties MLB record with 20 strikeouts in Nationals’ win over Tigers

Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer throws during

Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer throws during the third inning of a baseball game against the Detroit Tigers at Nationals Park, Wednesday, May 11, 2016, in Washington. Photo Credit: AP / Alex Brandon

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 astounding 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.

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