American League Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, August 8th (All times Eastern)
Detroit Tigers (67-45) at Cleveland Indians (62-52), 7:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Detroit - Max Scherzer (16-1, 2.85) Cleveland - Zach McAllister (4-6, 3.47)
(Sports Network) - Major league wins leader Max Scherzer can add to that total and help the Detroit Tigers move farther ahead of their nearest pursuers on Thursday night, when they visit Progressive Field for the finale of a four- game series with the Cleveland Indians.
Detroit entered the series with a three-game lead on the Indians in the American League's Central Division, then stretched the edge to five games with wins on Monday and Tuesday.
On Wednesday, Prince Fielder stroked a go-ahead two-run double in the top of the 14th inning to lift the Tigers to their 11th straight victory with a 6-5 triumph over the Indians that extended the margin to six games.
Austin Jackson started the frame with a double off Bryan Shaw (2-3) before moving to third on Torii Hunter's fly out to right. After an intentional walk to Hernan Perez, Marc Rzepczynski entered from the bullpen and got Fielder in an 0-2 hole before the lefty slugger scorched a double into the gap in left- center field to bring home both runners.
Jeremy Bonderman (2-3) spun three scoreless innings of one- hit ball in relief to notch the victory, his first as a Tiger since Sept. 8, 2010. Joaquin Benoit secured his 14th save of the season, despite giving up a run in the bottom of the 14th.
Miguel Cabrera clubbed a two-run homer and Jackson added a solo shot for the Tigers, who are riding their longest winning streak since a 12-game spurt from Sept. 2-14, 2011.
Nick Swisher collected three hits, including a pair of RBI doubles, while Yan Gomes smacked a solo homer and finished with two RBI for Cleveland, which had won 10 of 11 before dropping the first three of this series.
Scherzer, who won a career-best 16 times in 32 starts in 2012, ran his 2013 total to 16 on Aug. 3 when he twirled 7 2/3 innings of scoreless three-hit ball in a 3-0 defeat of the Chicago White Sox.
It was the second straight scoreless outing for the 29-year-old Missouri native, who tossed six innings of one-hit ball against Philadelphia in a 10-0 interleague win on July 29 - his 29th birthday.
Scherzer last faced the Indians on July 8 and got a no-decision after firing seven innings of two-run ball in a game the Tigers ultimately won, 4-2.
He is 7-4 in 14 career meetings with Cleveland and is unbeaten on the road - 6-0 - in 10 road starts thus far this season.
Saddled with the task of facing Scherzer and the Tigers is righty Zack McAllister, who's not won in five starts since May 23.
The Chillicothe, Ill. native was 4-3 on the season after a 12-3 defeat of the Boston Red Sox, but went on to lose three straight starts and has since picked up a pair of no-decisions.
He gave up three hits and two runs in 5 1/3 innings of his most recent appearance on Aug. 3 in Miami - a game the Indians ultimately won, 4-3.
McAllister last faced Detroit on May 12 and got a no-decision there as well, allowing two earned runs on eight hits in six innings of a 4-3 Cleveland win.
He's picked up no-decisions in each of four career meetings with the Tigers while toting a 2.28 ERA through 23 2/3 innings.
Detroit won nine of the initial 12 games between the teams in 2013, including three of four in a series at Cleveland between July 5 and July 8.
08/08 10:22:02 ET