American League Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, June 28th
(All times Eastern)
Detroit Tigers (42-35) at Tampa Bay Rays (41-38), 7:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Detroit - Max Scherzer (11-0, 3.05)
Tampa Bay - Alex Colome (1-0, 0.00)
(Sports Network) - Many believed Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander would be
leading the club in wins at this time, but that hasn't been the case.
Max Scherzer has taken a few headlines away from Verlander and can grab some
more Friday when he tries to become the majors' first 12-game winner in the
opener of a three-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Scherzer is 11-0 with a 3.05 earned run average in 15 starts, with the Tigers
going 12-3 in that stretch. Detroit has won each of Scherzer's last four
starts and he allowed two runs in seven innings in last Saturday's 10-3
pounding of the Boston Red Sox. Scherzer struck out six batters and has fanned
at least that many in every outing this season.
"I realize it takes so many other teammates to put me in that position,"
Scherzer said. "This is a credit to the Detroit Tigers for being in this
position. I know I pitched well, and I know I gave my team a chance to win,
but it doesn't always go that way. To be 11-0, it means that everyone else
around me has done their job, and I couldn't be happier for everybody else."
The right-hander joins Pedro Martinez as one of two pitchers in American
League history to post six or more strikeouts in 15 or more consecutive games
to begin the season. Martinez accomplished the feat in 1999 and set an
American League record with 29 straight games with at least six K's in 2000.
Scherzer's 11 straight winning decisions matches Roger Clemens' mark set back
in 1997. Clemens is the last hurler to win his first 12 decisions and
accomplished the feat back in 1986. Scherzer looks to stay on track on the
road and is 8-0 in nine away starts. He defeated the Rays on June 6 with seven
innings of one-run ball and is 2-2 with a 2.64 ERA in five career starts
The Tigers could use a boost from Scherzer after they were swept in three
games by the LA Angels of Anaheim. The Angels broke out the brooms with
Thursday's 3-1 win in 10 innings, as Albert Pujols drove in a run with a
double and Josh Hamilton added a sacrifice fly. Ernesto Frieri worked around a
hit in the 10th to close out the sweep.
Brayan Pena had two hits and had the lone RBI for the Tigers, whose lead
remained at 2 1/2 games ahead of Cleveland in the AL Central after the Indians
lost to the Baltimore Orioles. Tigers starter Doug Fister pitched well in the
no-decision and hurled seven innings of one-run ball, while Phil Coke was
responsible for the go-ahead runs in the 10th.
"I feel like I'm not contributing in a positive way," Coke said. "That's a
tough pill for me to swallow because I pride myself on what I do and I haven't
got anything to show for it."
The Tigers went 4-6 on their homestand and will now open an 11-game road trip.
Tampa Bay failed in its attempt to sweep the Toronto Blue Jays in three games
with Wednesday's 3-0 loss. Jays starter R.A. Dickey threw a two-hit shutout,
struck out six and walked one batter to stymie the Rays, who got hits from
James Loney and Yunel Escobar.
Rays starting pitcher Roberto Hernandez absorbed the tough-luck loss by
surrendering all three runs in eight innings of work.
"I thought Roberto was fantastic," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "That
probably was his best game all year. The ball was alive, the sinker was very
good, the slider was good. It's just unfortunate we got outpitched today."
Tampa Bay had won three in a row before the recent loss and is six games off
the lead in the AL East.
Rays rookie Alex Colome will make his third career start Friday and is 1-0
with no earned run average. He made his debut May 30 at Miami and earned the
win by holding the Marlins to one unearned run and five hits in 5 2/3 innings.
Colome, a right-hander, then toed the rubber last Saturday in a 7-5 loss at
Yankee Stadium and did not figure into the decision, as he yielded three runs
-- all unearned -- and five hits with five walks in 4 1/3 innings. He will
face Detroit for the first time.
The Rays lost two of three matchups in Detroit earlier this month and are only
4-14 in the past 18 meetings between the clubs.
06/28 10:26:38 ET
Powered by The Sports Network.