Max Scherzer earns second straight Opening Day start

VIERA, Fla. -- Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker confirmed the obvious Sunday: Max Scherzer will be the team's Opening Day starter April 4 in Atlanta.

"He was Opening Day before I got here," the Nationals' first-year manager said.

It will be the second consecutive Opening Day start for Scherzer, who signed a seven-year, $210 million contract before last season. He lost the first game in 2015 to the New York Mets at Nationals Park.

The 31-year-old Scherzer finished 14-12 with a 2.79 ERA and 276 strikeouts over 228 2/3 innings in 33 starts last year.

Scherzer also became the sixth pitcher in major league history to throw two no-hitters in the same season. He no-hit the Pittsburgh Pirates on June 20 and in his final start of the season against the Mets on Oct. 3.

He told ESPN in February that he doesn't plan to start this season with another no-hitter.

"It's not gonna happen," Scherzer said. "You're on such a pitch count those first three starts. You don't want to go deep. You don't want to push it."

The 31-year-old right-hander was set to make his third spring training start against the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday.

"He comes to pitch," Baker said. "Guys like playing behind him. I watched him on TV last year every chance I got because I like watching baseball, and I like watching guys who have a chance to throw a no-hitter every time out."

Information from ESPN senior writer Eddie Matz and The Associated Press contributed to this report.