Max Scherzer has been as dominant immediately following the All-Star break as he was before it.
He's pitched extremely well of late against the lowly Chicago White Sox.
Hoping to match his career high with a 16th win, the right-hander tries to help the Detroit Tigers extend their season-high winning streak to seven and send the visiting White Sox on their first nine-game slide in almost 22 years Saturday night.
Scherzer (15-1, 3.01 ERA) suffered his first loss when he allowed four runs in six innings to Texas in his last outing before starting for the AL in the All-Star game. He's yielded two runs and five hits over 14 innings to win his first two starts after the break.
Pitching on his 29th birthday last Saturday, Scherzer became the fourth pitcher since 1979 to go 15-1 after he allowed one hit and struck out seven in six innings of a 10-0 victory at Philadelphia. Roger Clemens was the most recent to start 16-1 for the New York Yankees in 2001.
Scherzer also has received a major league-best 7.64 average runs of support.
"That's why I love being in Detroit," he said. "If you go out and pitch well, you have a good chance to win the ballgame."
His teammates totaled 20 runs while he's yielded three, 12 hits and fanned 21 in 22 innings to win three straight starts against the White Sox (40-67). Scherzer allowed two solo homers and two other hits over eight innings of a 7-3 victory at Chicago on July 22.
The Tigers (62-45) improved to 6-0 on an eight-game homestand with Friday's 2-1 win in the series opener. They've won seven straight at home and 10 of 11 overall.
Austin Jackson homered and Jose Iglesias had an RBI in his first game since being acquired from Boston in a three-team trade that sent Jake Peavy from Chicago to the Red Sox. Iglesias started at third base in place of Miguel Cabrera , who could miss a third straight contest with an abdomen strain.
Iglesias, who hit .330 in 63 games for Boston this season, could soon start at shortstop with Jhonny Peralta facing a possible suspension amid the fallout from baseball's investigation into the Biogenesis of America anti-aging clinic.
"I just want to help this team win, no matter what position," Iglesias said.
Jackson is batting .414 (12 for 29) with three homers against the left-hander, who is 0-3 with an 11.90 ERA in his last four starts versus Detroit. He allowed six runs, including five on homers to Fielder, Jackson and Torii Hunter , over seven innings of a 6-2 loss July 24.
He's posted a 7.06 ERA in losing his last four starts at Comerica Park.
Danks is 0-3 with a 4.86 ERA in his previous five starts overall, but he allowed one earned run and two hits in six innings while not factoring in the decision of a 3-2 loss at Cleveland on Monday.
"I wasn't as good as I needed to be," said Danks, who walked a season-high four. "My command was lacking."
The White Sox, who have lost 11 of 12, last dropped nine in a row Aug. 19-28, 1991.
Alex Rios had two hits with an RBI on Friday, but he's 3 for 27 with eight strikeouts against Scherzer.
|Alejandro De Aza||17||.235||4||1||2||1||7||.278||.690||.412|
|Chicago White Sox|
|July 30, 2013||Alex Rios||Day-to-Day||Left foot contusion|
|July 21, 2013||Gordon Beckham||Day-to-Day||Strained ligament, left wrist|
|July 03, 2013||Paul Konerko||15-Day DL||Strained lower back|
|July 03, 2013||Paul Konerko||15-Day DL||Strained lower back|
|July 02, 2013||Jesse Crain||Day-to-Day||Right shoulder tightness|
|June 30, 2013||Jesse Crain||15-Day DL||Sprained right shoulder|
|July 31, 2013||Miguel Cabrera||Day-to-Day||Strained lower abdomen|
|July 31, 2013||Luis Marte||15-Day DL||Recovery from right shoulder surgery|
|July 25, 2013||Torii Hunter||Day-to-Day||Left game - sore left Achilles|
|July 23, 2013||Miguel Cabrera||Day-to-Day||Strained left hip flexor|
|July 14, 2013||Justin Verlander||Day-to-Day||Left game - Right quadriceps tightness|
|July 07, 2013||Darin Downs||15-Day DL||Left rotator cuff tendinitis|
DETROIT (AP) -- With almost two months left in the season, Max Scherzer has already equaled his career high in wins.
He's also closing in on another lofty mark - 1,000 strikeouts.
"Wins are important for the team, and I'm up about that," Scherzer said. "But to reach milestones for your career, sometimes that's a better personal reflection of yourself."
Scherzer will have to wait for that 1,000th strikeout after falling one short Saturday night, but the Detroit right-hander took a shutout into the eighth inning, and the bullpen held on in the Tigers' 3-0 victory over the punchless Chicago White Sox. Scherzer became baseball's first 16-game winner.
The White Sox have lost nine straight. The AL Central-leading Tigers have won 11 of 12, despite playing most of that stretch without slugger Miguel Cabrera .
"I've always said that we have so much talent in this clubhouse," Scherzer said. "Miggy's a big part of it, but even without Miggy, there's plenty of guys in here that are very capable of dominating in the major leagues."
Cabrera has been bothered by hip and abdominal problems and sat out Saturday.
Scherzer (16-1) allowed three hits in 7 2-3 innings. Jose Veras got the third out of the eighth, and Joaquin Benoit finished for his 12th save in 12 chances.
John Danks (2-9) allowed six hits in seven innings, including solo homers by Torii Hunter , Jhonny Peralta and Jose Iglesias .
Scherzer is the first pitcher to win at least 16 of his first 17 decisions since Roger Clemens started 16-1 in 2001, according to STATS. Scherzer walked three and struck out six.
"It is pretty tough to do much against Scherzer right now," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "He's just got too much stuff. He can throw all of his off-speed pitches exactly where he wants them, and you can't tell them apart from his fastball. So you are watching for the break, and you don't have a chance to catch up to his velocity."
Scherzer also won 16 games last season. He's been the beneficiary of a lot of run support this year, but he didn't need much against the White Sox. Hunter opened the scoring with a homer to left in the first.
"These are real baseball games. We love those close games, those tight games," Hunter said. "Good pitching beats good hitting any day. Whenever they make a mistake, you just don't want to miss it."
Peralta - who faces a possible suspension from Major League Baseball's drug investigation - made it 2-0 with a drive to the bushes beyond the center-field wall in the second.
Iglesias, acquired just before the trade deadline - partly as insurance against a possible suspension to Peralta - added a homer of his own in the fourth.
This was the second game with the Tigers for Iglesias. He hit one homer in 63 games for Boston this season.
The White Sox, meanwhile, got another sold start that they failed to take advantage of. The Chicago starters have a 2.72 ERA during this losing streak.
Chicago pinch-hitter Jordan Danks hit a long flyball in the eighth that center fielder Austin Jackson caught at the wall in left-center. When Veras came in, Alexei Ramirez jack-knifed out of the way on his first pitch - only to have the breaking ball drop across the heart of the plate for a strike.
The White Sox have scored two runs in their last three games.
NOTES: Chicago has requested waivers on OF Dewayne Wise for the purpose of granting his unconditional release. Wise has been on the DL since May 30 with a strained right hamstring and right oblique strain. ... The Tigers wore jerseys that said "Tigres" while honoring the contributions of Hispanic and Latino players. ... Detroit tries for a three-game sweep Sunday, with RHP Rick Porcello (8-6) taking the mound against Chicago RHP Andre Rienzo (0-0).