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WASHINGTON (AP) — all with the inscription “300 Ks” in a case in his locker Jack Morris Jersey , Max Scherzer allowed himself a moment to consider what he’d just accomplished.“It was something I dreamed of, reaching this mark,” Scherzer said, “because I know how hard it is to consistently go out there and strike guys out.”Scherzer became the 17th pitcher since 1900 to strike out 300 batters in a season, reaching that milestone by fanning 10 in seven innings Tuesday night during the Washington Nationals‘ otherwise meaningless 9-4 victory over the Miami Marlins.“A big number,” Nationals catcher Matt Wieters said, “when you’re talking about strikeouts.”Scherzer (18-7) lowered his ERA to 2.53 by allowing one run in seven innings as he bids for a third consecutive NL Cy Young Award; he also won the 2013 honor in the AL for Detroit. He threw 70 of his 100 pitches for strikes, gave up five hits and didn’t walk a batter.The righty reached 300 by getting Austin Dean to whiff on an 85-mph slider at the end of a 10-pitch at-bat for the second out of the seventh. Scherzer pumped his fist while much of the announced crowd of 26,483 — including his wife, Erica May-Scherzer — joined players in the home dugout and home bullpen by saluting the ace with a standing ovation.“I definitely wanted to do it here at home,” said the 34-year-old Scherzer, who is currently slated to make one more start, in Sunday’s season finale at Colorado. “The fans — unbelievable support.”They would chant, “Let’s go, Max!” They would rise and cheer when he had two strikes on a hitter. They would emit a collective “Awwwwwww” when a pitch near the plate was ruled a ball — or even when a pitch resulted in any sort of out that wouldn’t add to his strikeout total.Sweating profusely on a muggy, 78-degree evening, Scherzer had all of his repertoire working, from the 97-mph fastballs he threw past Lewis Brinson for strikeouts in the fourth and seventh innings Michael Fulmer Jersey , to the 84-mph changeup that JT Riddle missed for a K leading off the game.As is Scherzer’s wont, he stalked around the grass after strikeouts.Asked whether he considered pulling his famously intense pitcher before No. 300, Nationals manager Dave Martinez laughed.“I value my life,” Martinez joked. “He was going to get 10 today, somehow.”Scherzer now has 10 strikeouts or more in a majors-high 18 of his 33 starts in 2018, and 82 such games for his career.He got Dean by throwing fastball after fastball with a full count, then getting him to chase a slider.“That’s probably where you can see Max has become a more complete pitcher than he was earlier in his career,” Wieters said, “where he was able to go with the slider and execute it and realize that with where that fastball was starting, (Dean is) going to be way out in front of it.”Dean’s take?“He’s the best pitcher in baseball,” the Marlins rookie said.The case certainly can be made. This is, after all, a guy with two no-hitters and a 20-strikeout game on his resume, along with the Cy Youngs.Scherzer entered Tuesday ranked No. 1 in the NL in eight significant statistical categories, including strikeouts, strikeouts-to-walks ratio (5.69), opponents’ batting average (.188) and innings pitched (213 2/3). He was also tied for No. 1 in two others: wins and quality starts (27).The expectation is that Scherzer and New York Mets starter Jacob deGrom are the main Cy Young contenders in the NL. DeGrom is 9-9 with a 1.77 ERA and single-season records of 23 consecutive quality starts and 28 starts in a row allowing three or fewer earned runs.“There’s more to pitching than just striking guys out,” Scherzer said Leonys Martin Jersey , “but also, it is a big reason why you can have success.”RENDON AND HARPERNationals 3B Anthony Rendon hit a three-run shot in the first inning off Jeff Brigham (0-4), increasing his season totals to 24 homers and 90 RBIs and extending his streak of reaching base to 33 straight games. Rendon added an RBI double in the seventh, when Washington batted around and tacked on six runs. … Bryce Harper scored twice to surpass 100 runs for the season; he already had a career-best 100 RBIs and more than 100 walks. Harper can become a free agent in the offseason, so Wednesday’s series finale could be the 2015 NL MVP’s last home game at Nationals Park.UP NEXTThe Nationals will give 26-year-old RHP Kyle McGowin his first start in the majors Wednesday. Miami will start LHP Wei-Yin Chen (6-11, 4.66 ERA). BOSTON — Under normal circumstances, a Sunday matinee matchup between aces Jacob deGrom and Chris Sale would be must-see TV.Even on a football Sunday.They will face each other Sunday at Fenway Park, but while the New York Mets‘ deGrom continues his march toward what would be a rather unconventional Cy Young Award, Sale is scheduled to pitch only three innings as he works his way back from left shoulder inflammation.Article continues below ...Sale, the Boston Red Sox’s main guy, pitched one inning in his first stint off his second trip to the disabled list as Boston manager Alex Cora does what has to be done to get the skinny left-hander ready for the postseason.Said Cora, the day after his ace’s first outing: “He’s encouraged. Yesterday was his first big league outing and like he was all over the place and he admitted it and the game sped up with him right away with the (leadoff) double and it’s like, ‘Oh, wait a minute, I’ve got to compete.’ But he’ll be fine. At the end he struck out two, induced a popup. I know Sunday will be better.”Cora’s team reduced its magic number for clinching the American League East to four after Saturday’s 5-3 victory over the Mets (coupled with the New York Yankees’ loss in New York). The first-year manager will patch things together after Sale.DeGrom has been great all year, pitching to a 1.71 ERA with incredible consistency. But a complete lack of support has him 8-9 coming into this start. Among his many individual accomplishments, he has gone 26 straight starts allowing three earned runs or fewer — breaking a 108-year major league record.The right-hander appears to be in a battle for the Cy Young with Max Scherzer and Aaron Nola http://www.tigersfanproshop.com/authent ... nez-jersey , but both have faltered lately, Scherzer lasting four innings Friday night — his shortest outing of the season.DeGrom has eight straight starts of two earned runs or less but is 3-3 during that span.“Pitching is all about run prevention, no matter how you do it,” Mets manager Mickey Calloway said earlier this week. “All the things that Jacob’s done this year is all about run prevention, and he’s been by far the best in Major League Baseball at it.“If you put both leagues together he should win the Cy Young out of both leagues in my mind because he’s preventing runs better than anybody else in Major League Baseball.”In another matchup twist, the only home run deGrom hit in college was off Sale.The Red Sox, beaten 8-0 Friday night, trailed the Mets 3-1 before scoring four runs in the fifth inning as Rick Porcello won his 17th and the team won their 102nd on Saturday.The table seems set for the Red Sox to be able to clinch the division at Yankee Stadium, which would seem to make it even sweeter for them and their fans. The rivals play three games in the Bronx starting Tuesday night.Saturday’s win brought the Red Sox back to 55 games above .500 (102-47), matching their season high. They need four wins in their last 13 games to break the franchise record for wins in a season, set in 1912.Boston is 15-4 in interleague play this season, 20-4 in their last 24 home games against the National League and 36-9 in their last 45 interleague games. A win Sunday gives them 13 straight interleague series wins.Before Saturday’s game, Dustin Pedroia and the Red Sox honored David Wright, whose career will almost surely come to an end when he starts at third base for the Mets on Sept. 29. Pedroia presented Wright with a No. 5 from the manual scoreboard at Fenway.Wright and Pedroia played together on the 2009 USA team at the World Baseball Classic and also share the same agent.