Major League Baseball
Max Scherzer victorious in season debut; Rangers sweep Royals with 4-0 win
Major League Baseball

Max Scherzer victorious in season debut; Rangers sweep Royals with 4-0 win

Published Jun. 23, 2024 5:39 p.m. ET

Three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer retired 15 of the 16 batters he faced over five scoreless innings in his season debut, while rookie Wyatt Langford extended his RBI streak to five games in the Texas Rangers' 4-0 win over the Kansas City Royals on Sunday to complete a three-game series sweep.

José Ureña pitched the final four innings for his first save and extended the Rangers' consecutive scoreless innings pitched streak to a season-high 22, their longest since 23 in a row in September 2016.

Josh Smith homered for the Rangers (37-40), who matched their season high by winning their fourth game in a row. It was the first three-game sweep of the season for the reigning World Series champions.


The Royals (42-37) ended a 2-7 road trip; they have 20 wins more than at the same point last season. They were shut out for the fourth time this season, including three on the trip that ended with being held scoreless the last two games in Texas.

Kansas City manager Matt Quatraro missed the series finale to tend to a personal manner, so bench coach Paul Hoover managed the game.

Texas went ahead for good on Langford's RBI double in the fourth off Alec Marsh (5-5). Langford had a grand slam in Saturday's 6-0 win and has 10 RBIs in the last five games. Leody Taveras was 5 for 58 in June before his two-run single later in the fourth, and Josh Smith homered leading off the seventh.

Scherzer (1-0) struck out four while allowing only one hit and no walks. He threw 39 of his 57 pitches for strikes in his first start since exiting Game 3 of the World Series last Oct. 30 after three innings because of back tightness. His fastball was consistently in the 92-94 mph range.

The 39-year-old right-hander, who turns 40 on July 27, had surgery in mid-December to repair a herniated disk in his lower back. He then dealt with a nerve issue during his rehab that was diagnosed after he experienced right thumb soreness.

MJ Melendez had the only Royals hit off Scherzer, a ground-rule double that bounced into the Texas bullpen in the right-center field gap.

Scherzer's fourth and final strikeout was No. 3,371 of his career to match Hall of Fame pitcher Greg Maddux for 11th on MLB's career list. Maddux, a four-time Cy Young winner, is the brother of Texas pitching coach Mike Maddux.

Marsh struck out four while allowing three runs and eight hits over 5 2/3 innings.

Reporting by The Associated Press.

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