Max Scherzer set a new career-high with 16 strikeouts on Sunday

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Max Scherzer flirted with perfection, but settled for setting a new career-high in strikeouts with 16 on Sunday as the Nationals topped the Brewers 4-0. Scherzer brought a perfect game into the seventh inning, but it was snapped when Carlos Gomez led off the frame with a single to right-center.

It was the only hit Scherzer allowed in a shutout, only the second of his career. He walked one along with striking out 16. His previous career-high of 15 punch-outs came on May 20 when his Tigers hosted the Pirates. Scherzer becomes the third pitcher to strikeout at least 16 batters in a start this season, joining Corey Kluber (18) and Michael Pineda (16). Scherzer’s 15th strikeout, against Jason Rogers in the ninth inning, set a Nationals record.

Scherzer, who signed a seven-year, $210 million deal with the Nationals this past off-season, has lived up to the hype thus far, posting a 1.93 ERA with a 0.88 WHIP and a 113/14 K/BB ratio over 93 1/3 innings.

Royals, Alex Gordon close to contract agreement

Alex Gordon
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MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan reports that the Royals and outfielder Alex Gordon are “getting close” to an agreement on a one-year contract. Terms of the deal aren’t yet known, but the Royals could make it official within the next few days.

Gordon, who turns 36 years old next month, hit .266/.345/.396 with 13 home runs and 76 RBI over 633 plate appearances with the Royals this past season. His offense has waned, owning an adjusted OPS of 84 since 2016 (100 is average), but he still plays decent defense.

Gordon has spent all 13 years of his major league career with the Royals. With the club in a rebuilding phase, he will serve as the clubhouse leader and be a mentor to younger players on the roster.