Max Scherzer took a perfect game into the eighth inning on Sunday as the Los Angeles Dodgers blanked the San Diego Padres 8-0, completing a weekend series sweep. Before being pulled from the game, Scherzer threw eight full scoreless innings allowing just the one hit while striking out nine batters.
In the bid for his third career no-hitter, Scherzer allowed a double early in the eighth inning to Eric Hosmer down the right field line that Betts had no chance of tracking down. He threw 92 pitches and did not allow a walk.
Scherzer’s effort lessened his ERA to a league-leading 2.17, surpassing Corbin Burnes of the Milwaukee Brewers, who had a bid for a no-hitter of his own against the Indians on Saturday. Scherzer is among the frontrunners for the 2021 Cy Young Award. His next Cy Young would be his fourth.
The Dodgers have gone 8-0 this season in games that Scherzer has started.
Los Angeles got all the offense they needed from Corey Seager’s solo homer in the fourth inning, but the team primarily used the long ball to pile on seven more runs.
Mookie Betts added a solo shot in the fifth inning to stretch the lead to two runs. The blast to left was his 21st of the year. Since moving back to the leadoff spot last Thursday, Betts has gone 5-for-12 with two homers and five RBI.
Perhaps the biggest highlight of the game came in the fifth inning when Scherzer punched out out Hosmer to record his 3000th career strikeout. Besides Justin Verlander, Scherzer is the only active MLB pitcher to have reached the 3000K milestone.
Making his third-straight start in left field for the Dodgers, Lux went 2-for-2 with a walk, increasing his 2021 average to .230.
Justin Bruihl threw a perfect ninth for Los Angeles to seal the victory.
The Dodgers kept pace in the NL West with the San Francisco Giants, who completed their own weekend sweep of the Cubs. After the dust settled on Sunday’s MLB schedule, Los Angeles trails San Francisco by 2.5 games with 18 remaining. The Giants have won seven straight games.
The Dodgers begin a three-game series against the Diamondbacks on Monday. Clayton Kershaw will return to the mound to make his first start since July 3.