Inquirer Daily News

Tigers go with Scherzer in finale against Indians

(SportsNetwork.com) - Max Scherzer tries to become the American League's first 16-game winner on Thursday when the Detroit Tigers wrap up a four-game series with the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field.

Scherzer failed in his first attempt in Chicago on Saturday, as he was rocked for six runs (5 earned) and nine hits in 6 2/3 innings. The AL's reigning Cy Young Award winner also struck out 11 without walking a batter, but still fell to 15-5 to go along with a 3.26 ERA.

There may be some cause for concern with Scherzer, as he has pitched to a 5.79 ERA over his last three starts.

"The last couple times, he's pitched pretty well," said Tigers manager Brad Ausmus. "It's just been one inning, like I always say, that can get you in baseball. I'm sure we'll see the same Max tomorrow that we've seen a lot since he's been here."

Scherzer has faced the Tribe 18 times and is 9-4 with a 4.50 ERA.

Cleveland, meanwhile, will counter with righty Trevor Bauer, who is 5-7 with a 3.99 ERA. Bauer did not get a decision on Saturday in Kansas City, scattering four hits over 5 2/3 scoreless innings of the Indians' 3-2 win. However, he struggled with his command and walked five batters.

The 23-year-old has held his opponent scoreless in each of his last two starts and hasn't given up a run in 16 1/3 innings.

Cleveland picked up a win on Wednesday, as Danny Salazar tossed his first career shutout and the Indians rolled to a 7-0 victory.

Salazar (6-6) gave up eight hits and struck out nine with no walks.

"I thought it was good for him that he could prove to himself that he can stay out there," said Cleveland manager Terry Francona. "He held his velocity the entire game."

Jose Ramirez had three hits with an RBI and Carlos Santana added a two-run homer for the Indians, who are four games back of the Tigers for the AL's second wild card spot.

Cleveland hasn't lost a series since July 29-31 against Seattle.

Detroit starter Justin Verlander (12-12) was tagged for seven runs -- six earned -- on nine hits in 6 2/3 innings.

The Tigers, who won the first two installments of this four-game set, fell 1 1/2 games back of AL Central-leading Kansas City. The Tigers, though, could gain ground on Thursday, as the Royals are idle.

"Really, Salazar pitched well," Ausmus said of Salazar. "He overpowered us at times. That's the best I've seen him throw. They beat us tonight. We'll move on and get them tomorrow."

Cleveland has won eight of its 15 matchups with the Tigers this season.

09/04 10:30:07 ET