June 11 (UPI) — Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer exited his start against the San Francisco Giants on Friday night with a groin injury after throwing just 12 pitches.
Scherzer told reporters after the Nationals’ 1-0 loss to the Giants that an MRI revealed inflammation in the groin. Washington considers Scherzer day to day.
The 36-year-old Scherzer got Giants leadoff hitter LaMonte Wade Jr. to fly out for the first out of the game. Scherzer then faced Brandon Belt and had a 3-2 count against him when he started stretching on the mound.
Nationals manager Dave Martinez and athletic trainer Paul Lessard went out to the mound to talk with Scherzer, and he tossed one pitch before walking off the field.
Paolo Espino replaced Scherzer in the game and allowed only one run on three hits over 3 1/3 innings. Espino also notched five strikeouts in relief of Scherzer.
Scherzer, a three-time Cy Young Award winner, entered the game with a 5-4 record and 2.22 ERA. He began the night in second place in the National League with 104 strikeouts.
The Nationals have been battling health issues on the mound throughout this season. Stephen Strasburg, Erick Fedde and Austin Voth all are on the injured list, and reliever Will Harris remains out indefinitely due to thoracic outlet syndrome in his throwing arm.
Washington has a 25-34 record this season and sits last in the NL East.