Scherzer’s big day: Immaculate IP, 3,000th K

LOS ANGELES — Max Scherzer of the Los Angeles Dodgers has become the 19th player in major league history with 3,000 strikeouts.

The right-hander fanned Eric Hosmer of the San Diego Padres in the fifth inning Sunday at Dodger Stadium.

The crowd gave the three-time Cy Young Award winner a standing ovation, and Scherzer doffed his cap. He threw the keepsake ball into the dugout. Hosmer went down on six pitches, retired on a swinging strike.

Scherzer, 37, also has a perfect game through seven innings in a start that has also included an immaculate inning. He has thrown two no-hitters in his 14-year career but never a perfect game.

Knowing Scherzer needed one more strikeout to reach the mark, fans got to their feet and cheered each time he had two strikes. Some held up cellphones to record the moment.

Scherzer came into the game needing six strikeouts to reach 3,000. He got Trent Grisham in the first. He struck out the side on nine pitches in the second, retiring Fernando Tatis Jr., Hosmer and Tommy Pham, who all went down swinging.

In the third, Scherzer struck out Wil Myers on five pitches.

Scherzer is 13 strikeouts from catching Houston’s Justin Verlander for the most among active players. Verlander — a teammate of Scherzer’s in Detroit — is missing the entire 2021 season following Tommy John surgery.

Scherzer is 13-4, and his 2.28 ERA is second in the National League. He was acquired from the Washington Nationals in July and has put himself in contention for a fourth Cy Young down the stretch for the Dodgers.

He is on a nine-game winning streak and hasn’t lost since May 30 against Milwaukee. He is 9-0 in his past 15 starts since June 4, going 9-0 with a 2.23 ERA. Four of those wins have come with the Dodgers.

Scherzer was drafted by Arizona in 2006 out of Missouri. He has pitched for the Diamondbacks, Detroit and Washington, and is 188-97 with a 3.15 ERA in his career.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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