Rangers’ Max Scherzer allows one hit over five innings in season debut

MLB

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Pitcher Max Scherzer was activated from the injured list by the Texas Rangers on Sunday and made his 2024 season debut against the Kansas City Royals.

“Max is feeling good, so I’m feeling good,” manager Bruce Bochy told reporters, including MLB.com’s Kennedi Landry.

The 17-year veteran certainly looked good in his first start of the season, allowing only one hit over five innings with four strikeouts. He didn’t allow that hit until the fifth inning, when MJ Melendez reached base with a one-out double.

Scherzer, who will turn 40 on July 24, has not yet pitched this year while recovering from offseason surgery for a herniated disc. He last appeared for the Rangers in Game 3 of the World Series last season, throwing three innings before leaving with back tightness.

Right-hander Yerry Rodriguez was sent down to Triple-A Round Rock to make room for Scherzer on the 26-man roster.

The three-time Cy Young Award winner began a minor league rehab assignment in late April, but suffered a setback with right thumb soreness after a start for Round Rock on April 24. Scherzer revealed that team doctors diagnosed a nerve issue that extended to his right forearm and triceps.

Once the soreness alleviated, he made two more rehab starts on June 9 and 15. In that final rehab appearance, he notched eight strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings, giving up three runs on four hits.

Bochy said Scherzer wouldn’t have a pitch count on Sunday.

“We’ll watch the game and see how he feels every inning,” said Bochy, via the Associated Press. “He’s been stretched out. We’re not going to put a limit on him.”

After being traded to the Rangers from the New York Mets, Scherzer compiled a 3.20 ERA and 4–2 record in eight starts with 53 strikeouts in 45 innings last season. He allowed seven runs and 11 hits over 9 2/3 innings during the postseason.

Scherzer joins a Rangers starting rotation that’s dealt with several injuries this season. Nathan Eovaldi and Dane Dunning have each spent time on the injured list, while Cory Bradford is still sidelined. Jacob deGrom and Tyler Mahle are coming off Tommy John surgery and hope to be available after the All-Star break.

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