Max Scherzer's recent stretch of hot starts has his team right on the heels of the Atlanta Braves in the NL East. The right-hander did not slow down on Tuesday night, striking out 13 over eight innings in a 4-2 win over the Tampa Bay Rays. The stellar outing made Scherzer this season's first 10-game winner, as he did not walk a batter and only surrendered two runs on Brad Miller's two-run double in the eighth. He finished with 99 pitches on the night, 81 of which were for strikes, in what was his ninth consecutive winning decision. During this outing, he also recorded his second career immaculate inning by striking out Johnny Field, Christian Arroyo, and Daniel Robertson on a combined nine pitches in the sixth inning. Scherzer last did this on May 14, 2017 against the Philadelphia Phillies, and has two of the three such innings in Nationals' history. He joins Lefty Grove, Randy Johnson, Sandy Koufax, and Nolan Ryan as the only pitchers to record the feat twice. Sean Doolittle came in for the ninth and recorded his 15th save in 16 tries. The eighth-inning two-run double was the first runner that the Rays got past second base against Scherzer, who has struck out 25 batters over his past 16 innings pitched. The hurler was supported by Matt Adams' solo home run, as the Nats got four runs on five hits off of Rays starter Nathan Eovaldi, who lasted five innings. Wilson Ramos faced his former team in the Nationals for the first time since joining Tampa Bay and went 0-for-4 on the night. These two teams will play one more on Wednesday afternoon.
Martinez's 20th HR Jump-Stars Red Sox in Shutout
J.D. Martinez also faced a former team of his in the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday night and he wasted no time showing them what he's about these days. Martinez went deep in the first inning to become the first player to reach 20 home runs this season, as the Boston Red Sox earned a 6-0 shutout. Steven Wright overcame some first inning troubles to throw seven innings of shutout baseball, striking out six, as the Red Sox kept pace with the New York Yankees. The Bronx Bombers beat the Toronto Blue Jays, 7-4, behind Miguel Andujar's grand slam on Tuesday, but stayed a game behind the Red Sox in the AL East. Wright started for the first time this season, as his knuckleball had the Tigers' batters off-balance the entire night. He improved to 2-0 on the season, overcoming time missed due to a 15-game suspension for violating the league's domestic violence policy, as well as an injection in his surgically repaired knee that landed him on the disabled list. Wright had made six relief appearances before Tuesday's start. He retired the final 13 batters faced as the Tigers got two of their three hits off of him in the first inning, but have nothing to show for it after Leonys Martin was thrown out at home. Artie Lewicki suffered his first loss in his first major league start for Detroit, lasting 3.2 innings and allowing four runs, two of which were earned, on five hits and three walks. These two teams will play two more games at Fenway Park, including on Wednesday night.
Giants Fall to Diamondbacks in Bumgarner's Return
The San Francisco Giants got their ace back on the mound on Tuesday night, but it was unfortunately not enough for them to get to the first-place Arizona Diamondbacks. Madison Bumgarner allowed two runs on eight hits over six innings, as the Giants fell to the D-backs at home, 3-2. Patrick Corbin was just a bit better than the Giants' ace, pitching in to the seventh inning and allowing just one run while striking out seven. The D-backs' starter improved to 6-2 on the season, helping his team keep pace with the Colorado Rockies, who earned a 9-6 win over the Cincinnati Reds earlier in the night. Arizona currently holds a one game lead on Colorado for first place in the NL West, which has five teams separated by 5.5 games. The Giants did attempt a rally in the ninth inning, as Buster Posey singled home a run to pull the deficit within one. Although, Brad Boxberger was able to complete his 14th save by getting Evan Longoria to ground out for the final out. Bumgarner missed the rest of last season following a dirt bike accident on April 20th, and then broke his pinkie on a line drive during Spring Training in March. He looked solid on the mound Tuesday night, as the Giants hope he can spark them above .500 and in to first place in the NL West at some point this season. The D-backs still hold that position, as they got three hits from Paul Goldschmidt on Tuesday, as well as a pinch-hit RBI single in the ninth from Jake Lamb, which proved to be the game-winner. They will finish off their series with a matinee at AT&T Park on Wednesday.