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Scherzer equals MLB record with 20 strikeouts against Tigers

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Scherzer Strikes Out 20, Ties MLB Record

Max Scherzer equaled Major League's nine-innings record of 20 strikeouts on Wednesday, leading the Washington Nationals past Detroit Tigers 3-2.

Pitching against his former team, Scherzer had a chance to strike out the final batter and stand alone in the record books but James McCann grounded out for the last at-bat of the game.

Scherzer's incredible performance ties him with Roger Clemens, who reached the 20-strikeout mark twice, along with Randy Johnson and Kerry wood.

"I think it was about the eighth inning when I (struck) out somebody and they said it was 18, that was the first time I had the number," Scherzer told reporters. "So I knew I had a shot at going out for ninth for 20."

Scherzer (4-2) did not walk a batter on yet another magical night for the Washington ace.

Last season, Scherzer fired off two no-hitters to become just the sixth pitcher in Major League history to accomplish that. Scherzer played for Detroit from 2010 to 2014, winning the Cy Young Award in 2013, before signing with the Nationals and he came back to haunt the Tigers on Wednesday.

"Tonight, facing my former team, it was an emotional game," Scherzer said. "I have so much respect for how they play the game and compete. To have a game like that against that caliber of hitters really puts a feather in my cap."

RANKING THE TOP MLB PLAYERS OF THE LAST 25 YEARS:

22 PHOTOS
25 best baseball players of last 25 years
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Scherzer equals MLB record with 20 strikeouts against Tigers

Honorable Mentions:

Craig Biggio, Roy Halladay, Trevor Hoffman, Mike Mussina, Joe Mauer, Clayton Kershaw, Felix Hernandez, Jeff Bagwell, Eric Gagne, CC Sabathia, Tim Hudson, Chase Utley, Nomar Garciaparra, Miguel Tejada, Juan Gonzalez, Mark Buehrle, Roy Oswalt, Andy Pettitle, Curt Schilling, Bobby Abreu, Andrew McCutchen, Carlos Beltran, Edgar Martinez, Johan Santana, Jason Giambi, Raphael Palmiero, Barry Larkin, Fred McGriff.

(The Sporting News via Getty Images)

25. Mike Trout

Rookie of the Year, MVP, 4-time All-Star

(Harry How via Getty Images)

24. Jim Thome

600+ home runs, 5-time All-Star, 72.9 bWAR

(BRIAN BAHR via Getty Images)

23. John Smoltz

200+ wins, 150+ saves, 8-time All-Star

(Doug Pensinger via Getty Images)

22. Frank Thomas

2-time MVP, 4-time All-Star, 500+ home runs

(TIM ROBERTS via Getty Images)

20. David Ortiz

9-time All-Star, 3-time World Series champion, 400+ home runs

(Jim Rogash via Getty Images)

19. Vladimir Guerrero

9-time All-Star, MVP, 400+ home runs, .318 batting average, 126 outfield assists

(Doug Pensinger via Getty Images)

18. Tom Glavine

2-time Cy Young, 10-time All-Star, 300+ wins

(MARCOS TOWNSEND via Getty Images)

17. Randy Johnson

10-time All-Star, 5-time Cy Young winner, World Series champion

(The Sporting News via Getty Images)

16. Manny Ramirez

12-time All-Star, 9-time Silver Slugger winner, 2-time World Series champion, 2,500+ hits, 555 home runs

(Stephen Dunn via Getty Images)

15. Greg Maddux

4 consecutive Cy Youngs, 8-time All-Star, 18-time Gold Glove

(The Sporting News via Getty Images)

14. Miguel Cabrera

10-time All-Star, 2-time MVP, 400+ home runs

(Leon Halip via Getty Images)

13. Ivan Rodriguez

14-time All-Star, World Series champion, MVP, 13-time Gold Glove award, 7-time Silver Slugger winner, 300+ home runs

(Rich Pilling via Getty Images)

12. Albert Pujols

3-time MVP, 10-time All-Star, 500+ home runs, 2-time Gold Glove

(Rich Pilling via Getty Images)

11. Sammy Sosa

600+ home runs, 7-time All-Star, 6-time Silver Slugger

(New York Daily News Archive via Getty Images)

10. Mark McGwire

12-time All-Star, 583 home runs, 2-time World Series champion

(Sporting News Archive via Getty Images)

9. Ken Griffey Jr.

13-time All-Star, 10-time Gold Glove winner, MVP, 4-time home run champion

(Scott Rovak via Getty Images)

8. Derek Jeter

14-time All-Star, 5-time World Series champion, 3,000 hits, 5-time Gold Glove

(The Sporting News via Getty Images)

3. Tony Gwynn

15-time All-Star, 7-time Silver Slugger winner, 8-time batting champion, 3,000+ hits

(Sporting News Archive via Getty Images)

2. Roger Clemens

7-time Cy Young winner, 357 wins, 11-time All-Star Game, 2-time World Series champion, MVP

(TIMOTHY A. CLARY via Getty Images)

1. Barry Bonds

Home run king (762), 14-time All-Star, 7-time MVP

(MIKE FIALA via Getty Images)

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