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What’s on Tap: Previewing Thursday evening’s action

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Thursday gave us a light schedule, one that’s already halfway complete. The afternoon saw the Diamondbacks trample the Mets 9-0, the Pirates blank the Padres 4-0, and the Astros bashed the Twins 15-7. Rockies/Rangers and Braves/Brewers are still in action, while the Orioles and Athletics started not too long ago.

So let’s talk again about Rockies rookie outfielder David Dahl. We noted last week that Dahl hit safely in the first 10 games of his major league career. With a first-inning single in Thursday afternoon, Dahl kept his streak alive, which is now at 17 consecutive games to begin his career. That ties a major league record for the longest hitting streak to begin a career. The Reds’ Chuck Aleno also hit in 17 straight to begin his career in 1941. Dahl passed Juan Pierre, who hit in 16 straight, for the Rockies club record.

Dahl, rated as the Rockies’ second-best prospect by MLB Pipeline, entered Thursday’s action .365/.394/.619 with three home runs, nine RBI, and 16 runs scored in 66 plate appearances. That’ll do.

The rest of Thursday evening’s action…

Houston Astros (Chris Devenski) @ Minnesota Twins (Tommy Milone), 7:10 PM EDT [Game Two]

Los Angeles Angels (Jhoulys Chacin) @ Cleveland Indians (Corey Kluber), 7:10 PM EDT

New York Yankees (Michael Pineda) @ Boston Red Sox (Eduardo Rodriguez), 7:10 PM EDT

St. Louis Cardinals (Carlos Martinez) @ Chicago Cubs (Jon Lester), 8:05 PM EDT

Chicago White Sox (Miguel Gonzalez) @ Kansas City Royals (Danny Duffy), 8:15 PM EDT

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.