Max Scherzer struck out 14 batters in his return to Detroit’s Comerica Park as the Washington Nationals edged the Tigers 2-1 on Sunday.
The Nationals’ ace held Detroit to one run on four hits and didn’t issue a walk in eight innings. The former Tiger was making his first appearance in Detroit since signing with Washington after the 2014 season. Scherzer (8-5) struck out 20 Tigers in a home game during the 2016 season.
Anthony Rendon scored both Nationals’ run, including the go-ahead homer in the eighth. Sean Doolittle recorded his 18th save.
Brandon Dixon’s homer accounted for Detroit’s run. Jordan Zimmermann held his former team to one run on four hits in six innings. The Tigers have lost nine of their last 10.
The Nationals had two runners in the first, but Zimmermann escaped by retiring Howie Kendrick on a flyout.
Detroit’s Niko Goodrum hit a two-out double in the bottom of the second but was stranded when Harold Castro lined out to left.
The Nationals took the lead in the fourth. Rendon led off with a double and Juan Soto walked. Zimmermann set down the next two batters but Kurt Suzuki then smacked a single to center, knocking in Rendon.
The Nationals threatened in the seventh when Brian Dozier walked with one out and Victor Robles reached on an infield single. Trea Turner then flied out to deep center and Adam Eaton popped up, leaving the score at 1-0.
Dixon tied it in the bottom of the inning with his team-leading 11th homer, an opposite-field shot that barely cleared the right-field wall.
Rendon put the Nationals back in front with an opposite-field blast off Joe Jimenez (2-6). Rendon’s 19 homers lead Washington.
Scherzer struck out the side in the eighth, getting Gordon Beckham, pinch hitter Miguel Cabrera and JaCoby Jones swinging.
The Tigers had two runners on in the ninth but Doolittle retired Goodrum on a fly ball to end the game.
—Field Level Media