ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Max Scherzer was roughed up again by the Houston Astros, this time in Game 3 of the AL Championship Series.
The three-time Cy Young Award winner lasted four innings in his first start in more than a month, leaving with a five-run deficit in an 8-5 loss to the Astros on Wednesday night that cut the Texas Rangers’ series lead to 2-1.
Scherzer gave up three runs in the second on a wild pitch and Martín Maldonado’s two-run single, then allowed Jose Altuve’s leadoff homer in the third.
Houston took a 5-0 lead on Mauricio Dubón’s RBI single in the fourth, when Scherzer struck out Jeremy Peña and Maldonado with a man on.
“I thought he had good stuff,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “He’s a little rusty. It’s been a month since he’s been out there. He’s only going to get better. He feels good. That’s the good news.”
Scherzer was dealing with forearm tightness six weeks ago when he allowed seven runs — all on three homers — over three innings in the Astros’ 12-3 win. He exited after 5 1/3 scoreless innings six days later, on Sept. 12 at Toronto, before going on the injured list because of the shoulder strain.
Scherzer has had second consecutive rough postseason start, allowing five runs and five hits with a walk, a hit batter and four strikeouts. In the Wild Card Series with the New York Mets last season, he gave up seven runs and seven hits, including four homers, over 4 2/3 innings in a 7-1 loss to San Diego. Scherzer was acquired by Texas from a Mets in a deadline deal this summer.
The 39-year-old right-hander became the second pitcher to start for five teams in the postseason following appearances for Detroit, Washington, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the New York Mets. He has a 7-8 postseason record in 28 games.
David Wells started for Cincinnati, Baltimore, the Yankees, Boston and San Diego from 1989-2006.