LOS ANGELES — Max Scherzer has achieved many issues throughout his 14-year main league profession, nevertheless it wasn’t till his first start for the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday night time that he received to get pleasure from this specific expertise:
A seventh-inning curtain call.
After Scherzer struck out Chas McCormick to finish the Houston seventh, the 52,724 followers at Dodger Stadium gave the right-hander a standing ovation. Scherzer tipped his cap as he went into the dugout however got here again out after Clayton Kershaw advised him to go salute the followers once more.
The curtain call capped a profitable debut for Scherzer, who struck out 10 in a 7-5 victory over the Astros. The Dodgers offered Scherzer with loads of offensive help with 4 residence runs to get a cut up and cap a contentious two-game sequence.
“That was a cool moment and something I will never forget,” Scherzer stated. “The fans tonight were great. When it is going nuts you can feed off it.”
Scherzer (9-4) tied a season excessive with 109 pitches, permitting two runs and 5 hits with a stroll.
The Dodger devoted roared with delight as Scherzer, acquired in a blockbuster trade with Washington final Friday struck out José Altuve thrice. The three-time Cy Young Award winner additionally received Carlos Correa to chase a slider for the first out of the sixth inning.
The massive crowd was boisterous once more. The sequence marked the first likelihood for Dodgers followers to unload on the Astros in individual since their sign-stealing scandal was revealed late in 2019. Houston beat LA in the 2017 World Series, profitable Game 7 at Dodger Stadium.
Los Angeles supervisor Dave Roberts thought the opponent was a very good one for Scherzer’s debut.
“The stage isn’t too big for him. I just expected him to go out and pitch well,” Roberts stated. “You can see the elation from the dugout and the finality in the seventh inning. It is what everyone wanted for tonight and I’m happy it played out as such.”
Scherzer, Joe Kelly and Kenley Jansen mixed for 15 strikeouts. Jansen allowed a two-run homer to Kyle Tucker in the ninth however fanned pinch-hitter Jake Meyers to finish the sport.
Altuve struck out 4 instances, matching a profession excessive.
Scherzer threw 73 strikes and stated his finest pitch of the night time was his curveball, which is often his least efficient.
“That was a high-adrenaline start. The offense went off, which allowed me to attack the hitters and remain aggressive in the strike zone,” stated Scherzer, who’s 5-0 in his final 9 begins. “When I can pitch with the curveball like that, it allows me to play up the other pitches more.”
Mookie Betts homered twice, whereas Will Smith and AJ Pollock additionally went deep off Astros starter Jake Odorizzi (4-6).
Michael Brantley, Correa and Tucker linked for Houston. It was the third sport at Dodger Stadium since July 10 with seven or extra residence runs.
“They jumped us early. When Scherzer gets a lead like that he can relax and throw any pitch at any time. His command is pretty good,” Astros supervisor Dusty Baker stated.
After Altuve struck out in the first, Brantley despatched a 1-1 fastball deep to proper for his seventh homer. It was the nineteenth allowed by Scherzer this season and fourth that got here in the first inning.
Correa adopted with a single earlier than Scherzer retired the subsequent 9 Houston hitters.
The Dodgers had been held to 5 hits in Tuesday night time’s 3-0 loss however broke by means of early in opposition to Odorizzi with 4 runs in the first. Betts linked on a slider and put it over the wall in middle to tie it at 1.
Max Muncy drew a stroll and superior to second with one out when Altuve’s throw on Corey Seager’s grounder pulled Correa off the bag at second for an error. With runners on first and second, Smith made the Astros pay for the error with a three-run homer to right-center.
Betts’ solo shot to left in the second gave him his first multi-homer sport of the season. In the third inning, Pollock prolonged his hitting streak to a career-high 13 video games with a two-run drive into the Dodgers’ bullpen in left discipline to make it 7-1.
Odorizzi — who allowed 4 homers in a sport for the second time in his 10-year profession — went solely three innings and allowed a season-high seven runs (six earned) on six hits and two walks.
“Since the All-Star break my mechanics have been (poor). My fastball has been flat,” Odorizzi stated. “There are a lot of things I am working on between outings, but then I am reverting back to bad form.”
Houston’s different runs got here on Tucker’s RBI single in the fourth and a solo homer by Correa in the eighth.