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Max Scherzer throws no-hitter for Washington Nationals

Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer throws a no-hitter in 6-0 victory over Pittsburgh Pirates

Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer threw baseball's second no-hitter of the season after losing his bid for a perfect game in the ninth inning of a 6-0 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday.

Scherzer retired 26 consecutive batters until he hit Pirates pinch hitter Jose Tabata on a 2-2 pitch with one out to go. Tabata appeared to have slightly leaned in on the pitch. Josh Harrison then flied out to left field on the next at-bat to end the game.

The former Cy Young award winner admitted he was a little disappointed with the outcome.

"Just because you're so close, one strike away from a perfect game,” he said. "But to get a no-hitter in front of these fans, there's nothing better."

Scherzer, 30, was one strike away from becoming only the 24th pitcher in Major League Baseball history to throw a perfect game. Dennis Martinez is the only pitcher in Nationals/Montreal Expos franchise history to throw a perfect game, achieving the feat against the Dodgers in 1991. 

Scherzer threw 106 pitches, including 82 strikes, to secure his first career no-hitter. The game lasted only two hours and 21 minutes.

Scherzer is the second Nationals pitcher to throw a no-hitter in as many years -- Jordan Zimmermann threw a no-hitter against the Miami Marlins in September. On June 9, San Francisco's Chris Heston threw a no-hitter against the New York Mets.

Scherzer entered the contest with a 1.81 earned-run average, the third lowest in the majors. He improved to 8-5 on the season with the win. Prior to Saturday, Scherzer had pitched only two complete games in his career.

Scherzer joined the Nationals in January, signing a seven-year, $210-million contract following five seasons with the Detroit Tigers.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times

UPDATE

4:01 p.m.: This story has been updated with reaction from Max Scherzer.

This story was first published at 3:29 p.m.

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