Justin Verlander’s no-hit bid ends in seventh inning, still holding Athletics scoreless

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Justin Verlander can no longer join an exclusive club with Don Larsen and Roy Halladay, but he’s still on the verge of leading his team to the ALCS.

Verlander’s no-hit bit ended with two outs in the seventh inning after Yoenis Cespedes hit a hard grounder past shortstop Jhonny Peralta and into center field. Having Jose Iglesias in the game there probably wouldn’t have helped him. With his chance at the no-hitter in the rear view mirror, Verlander quickly bounced back and struck out Seth Smith swinging, so he now has seven scoreless innings under his belt in this decisive Game 5.

The Tigers lead the Athletics 3-0 going into the top of the eighth inning at O.co Coliseum. Oakland has six more outs to keep their season alive.

Max Scherzer, with broken nose, strikes out 10 Phillies over seven shutout innings

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Nationals starter Max Scherzer bunted a ball into his face during batting practice on Tuesday, breaking his nose in the process. He ended up with a gnarly looking shiner around his right eye, making him appear a bit like Terminator. Scherzer still took the ball to start the second game of Wednesday night’s doubleheader against the Phillies.

Despite the injury, Scherzer was incredibly effective, limiting the Phillies to four hits and two walks across seven shutout innings, striking out 10 batters in the process. He might even have had some extra adrenaline going, as he averaged 96.2 MPH on his fastball, his highest average fastball velocity in a game since September 2012, per MLB.com’s Jamal Collier. The Nationals provided Scherzer with just one run of support, coming on a Brian Dozier solo home run off of Jake Arrieta in the second inning, but it was enough.

Wander Suero worked a scoreless top of the eighth with a pair of strikeouts. Victor Robles added a solo homer off of Pat Neshek in the bottom half. Closer Sean Doolittle took over in the ninth, working a 1-2-3 frame to give the Nats their 2-0 victory.

Over his last six starts, Scherzer now has a 0.88 ERA with a 59/8 K/BB ratio across 41 innings. He has gone six innings, struck out at least nine batters, and held the opposition to two or fewer runs in each of those six starts.