Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Max Scherzer took aim at a 77-year-old record and came up four innings short.
If ever there was a night when the stars aligned for a pitcher to match Johnny Vander Meer's back-to-back no-hitters, surely this was it.
Six days after throwing his first career no-no -- and facing the worst team in the majors just hours after its manager resigned -- Scherzer carried a perfect game into the sixth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday night.
The Washington Nationals ace carved his way through the first 16 batters before Freddy Galvis roped his 57th pitch into the right-field corner for a one-out double in the sixth that ended a chance at history.
Scherzer (9-5) struck out seven, walked none and ended up allowing two runs on five hits over eight innings in a 5-2 win to open a three-game series between the NL East rivals.
The former AL Cy Young Award winner was one out away from throwing the 24th perfect game in major league history before hitting Pittsburgh's Jose Tabata with two outs in the ninth inning last Saturday night.
He settled for a no-hitter instead, throwing it just six days after he twirled a one-hitter against Milwaukee in his previous start on June 14. He was only the fifth pitcher in the modern era to allow one hit or fewer in consecutive complete games and the first since 1944.
Galvis' double was the first hit surrendered by the right-hander in 17 innings. Scherzer gave an RBI double to Domonic Brown in the seventh, ending his 24-inning personal shutout streak and snapping a 47-inning scoreless run by Washington starters, a franchise record.
Then, improbably, pinch-hitter Ben Revere took Scherzer over the right-field wall in the eighth for just his third career homer in 2,331 plate appearances.
Vander Meer, a lefty known mostly for his unlikely feat, threw consecutive no- hitters for Cincinnati on June 11 and 15, 1938, against Boston and Brooklyn. The four-time All-Star died in 1997 at the age of 82.
Before Friday's game, Ryne Sandberg resigned as Phillies manager after spending parts of three leading the team, saying he takes responsibility for what he called an "accumulation of losses" that "really took a toll" on him.
Sandberg was 119-159 in his first managerial stint in the majors after taking over for Charlie Manuel in August 2013. He stepped away amid reports the Phillies, now 26-49 this season, are planning to make sweeping changes to their front office.
"With some leadership roles coming up, I think it was important for me not to be in the way with the way things have gone this year, but allow the organization to go forward and really get this thing going," Sandberg said.
Third base coach Pete Mackanin took over as acting manager after Sandberg's announcement.
Scherzer also singled and scored during a two-run fifth inning that helped the Nationals build a 5-0 lead on the way to their season-high seventh consecutive win.
Matt den Dekker hit a two-run homer off Phillies starter Aaron Harang (4-10), who surrendered five runs -- four earned -- over six innings to run his career worst losing streak to seven starts.
Scherzer is 4-0 against Philadelphia this season ... It was den Dekker's second career homer and first of the season ... The Phillies are 7-23 in their last 30 games ... The Nationals placed third baseman Anthony Rendon on the 15- day disabled list because of a left quadriceps strain. Rendon, who finished fifth in NL MVP voting last year, missed the first two months of this season with a knee sprain suffered in spring training.