LOS ANGELES (AP) — Max Scherzer of the Los Angeles Dodgers became the 19th player in major league history with 3,000 strikeouts and nearly completed a perfect game.
The 37-year-old right-hander fanned Eric Hosmer of the San Diego Padres in the fifth inning at Dodger Stadium for the historic strikeout, which came three innings after he threw the third immaculate inning of his career.
The crowd gave the three-time Cy Young Award winner a standing ovation, and Scherzer doffed his cap.
He threw the keepsake ball into the dugout. Hosmer went down on six pitches, retired on a swinging strike.
The defending World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers were already loaded with talent when they picked up Scherzer at the July trade deadline.
Scherzer has joined 17-game winner Julio Urías and 14-game winner Walker Buehler in carrying the offense-starved Dodgers despite injuries that have decimated the rotation.
Scherzer's velocity, pitch mix and durability have him contending for another Cy Young as the Dodgers chase their ninth straight National League West title.
Scherzer is 6-0 with a 0.88 ERA in eight games since being traded from the Washington Nationals.