EditorsNote: rewords sixth graf
Max Scherzer became the first pitcher in the major leagues to win 10 games as he struck out 13 in eight innings, and Matt Adams homered as the Washington Nationals defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 4-2 Tuesday night at Nationals Park.
Scherzer improved to 10-1 and has won nine straight decisions. His only loss came on April 4 at Atlanta.
Luis Severino of the Yankees had tied Scherzer with nine wins on Monday when he defeated the Tigers in Detroit as part of a make-up doubleheader.
Scherzer turned in another dominant performance. He gave up two runs on five hits without a walk on 99 pitches — 81 of which were strikes.
The right-hander also entered the record books with the second so-called immaculate inning of his career — needing only nine pitches in an inning to strike out all three batters faced.
He became the fifth pitcher to register multiple immaculate innings. Sandy Koufax accomplished the feat three times, and others to do it twice were Randy Johnson, Nolan Ryan and Lefty Grove.
Sean Doolittle closed Tuesday night’s win to earn his 15th save.
Tampa Bay’s Nathan Eovaldi (1-1) was making his second start this season. He allowed four runs on four hits in five innings.
In his first start, on May 30, Eovaldi threw six innings of no-hit baseball versus Oakland and got the win as the Rays topped the A’s, 6-0.
Eovaldi had Tommy John surgery and missed the last two months of 2016 plus all of last season. Eovaldi also underwent a minor elbow procedure this spring that sidelined him until the Oakland start, his first appearance with the Rays.
Adams started the scoring with a leadoff homer against Eovaldi in the second. The Nationals added a run later in the inning when Wilmer Difo grounded to first with runners at the corners, making it 2-0.
Washington added two more runs in the fourth when Difo tripled, scoring rookie Juan Soto, who had walked to start the inning.
Difo then scored on a wild pitch by Eovaldi with Scherzer batting. That gave Washington a 4-0 lead.
Tampa Bay rallied in the eighth inning.
Matt Duffy and Carlos Gomez singled to start the inning, and two outs later, Brad Miller drove both in with a pinch-hit double against Scherzer.
—Field Level Media