Max Scherzer is already having a career year.
Now he can become the fastest Detroit Tigers pitcher to 18 wins in 45 years.
Scherzer will try to continue his brilliant beginning to the second half with another dominant effort against the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday night.
Scherzer (17-1, 2.84 ERA) leads the majors in wins while his 175 strikeouts and 0.90 WHIP are among baseball's best.
He's one of the major reasons why Detroit (69-48) is atop the AL Central by 6 1/2 games over second-place Kansas City, but he's quick to deflect praise.
"It's not so much my achievement. It's a team achievement," Scherzer told the team's official website. "If I'm going to sit here and take credit for these wins and say I'm the reason why we're winning, I'd be pretty naive."
The right-hander has a chance to become the first Tigers pitcher to win 18 games in his first 24 starts since Denny McLain did it in 23 during his 1968 Cy Young Award-winning season.
Scherzer kept rolling Thursday, yielding two runs in seven innings of a 10-3 win at Cleveland, improving to 4-0 with a 1.26 ERA since starting the All-Star game.
"He's always good," manager Jim Leyland said. "He was pretty much vintage Max."
He certainly fits that description against the White Sox (45-72). Scherzer has beaten them in four straight starts behind a 0.91 ERA while holding them to a .149 average.
Chicago has been the victim of two of his wins since the Midsummer Classic. His latest visit to the South Side resulted in a 7-3 victory July 22, while he allowed two runs in eight innings.
This matchup will require Scherzer to help the Tigers rebound from Monday's 6-2 defeat to the White Sox. It's the first time he'll have taken the hill after a Detroit loss since July 8.
Despite his team's defeat in the opener of this three-game series, Miguel Cabrera went 2 for 4 with a solo homer to extend his hitting streak to 10 games. The reigning AL MVP has a .432 average with five homers and 12 RBIs over that stretch, and he's 13 for 31 (.419) over his last eight games at U.S. Cellular Field.
Cabrera leads the majors with a .366 average and 111 RBIs, but his 37 homers are second to Baltimore's Chris Davis (43) as he tries to become the first hitter to record back-to-back Triple Crown seasons.
The White Sox have gone seven straight series against the Tigers without winning back-to-back games.
They'll counter with Hector Santiago (3-7, 3.43), who's 0-2 with a 3.99 ERA over his last eight starts.
Both losses in that stretch have come against the Tigers, though he's only allowed five runs in 13 innings. His teammates have backed him with one run and committed four errors.
The left-hander was impressive in his most recent outing versus Detroit on Aug. 2, allowing two runs with seven strikeouts in seven innings of a 2-1 loss.
He followed that up five days later with a shaky performance against the Yankees, giving up four runs in 5 2-3 innings of a 6-5 win in 12.
Gordon Beckham is 7 for 12 with a double, two homers and five RBIs in his past three home meetings with Detroit after getting three hits and plating a run Monday.
He'll face Scherzer for the first time this year, but he's 5 for 26 lifetime in their matchups after going 0 for 9 with three strikeouts in 2012.
|Alejandro De Aza||17||.235||4||1||2||1||7||.278||.690||.412|
|August 11, 2013||Alex Avila||7-Day DL||Concussion|
|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|
|Chicago White Sox|
|August 05, 2013||Dayan Viciedo||Day-to-Day||Jammed left thumb|
|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|
CHICAGO (AP) -- The Chicago White Sox traded for Avisail Garcia believing he can help them dig out from under this year's mess. If this is a sign of things to come, they'll take it.
Garcia scored on Alejandro De Aza's bases-loaded single in the 11th inning to lift the White Sox to a 4-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday night.
"I'm just trying to do my job, play hard and do something good for my team," Garcia said. "I'm trying to win games."
The White Sox believe their turnaround will be quick because of a solid young pitching staff. But they're also counting on young players such as Garcia to develop.
He had quite a night against his former team and made his first big impression after being called up from Triple-A following Alex Rios ' trade to Texas last week.
Garcia had two hits, drove in his first two runs with Chicago and scored two, including the winner. The White Sox overcame three errors by shortstop Alexei Ramirez to hand the AL Central leaders their fourth loss in five games.
The winning rally started when Jeremy Bonderman (2-4) walked Garcia leading off and threw high to second after fielding Jeff Keppinger 's bunt. Then, with one out, he walked Tyler Flowers to load the bases.
Phil Coke came in and De Aza lined a single to right. That made a winner of Addison Reed (5-1), who worked two scoreless innings.
"You can't afford to put guys on base and give them free passes. It's my fault," Bonderman said.
Detroit's Brayan Pena singled in a run against Nate Jones in the eighth to tie it at 3-all.
The White Sox left two runners on in the ninth against Bruce Rondon , and Detroit had runners on first and third with two outs in the 11th when Reed knocked down Miguel Cabrera 's grounder up the middle. Ramirez charged in and barely threw out a sliding Cabrera at first to end the threat and prevent the go-ahead run, and the White Sox won it in the bottom half.
Cabrera's home run streak ended at four games. He was 0 for 5.
Detroit's Max Scherzer was in line for just his second loss of the season and Chicago's Hector Santiago was heading toward his first win since June 21.
All that changed in the eighth.
The White Sox were leading 3-2 when Jones walked Victor Martinez leading off the inning and Ramirez deflected Omar Infante 's grounder up the middle with one out for his second error, putting runners on first and third.
Don Kelly , running for Martinez, then scored the tying run on Pena's single to right.
Off to the best start in franchise history at 17-1, Scherzer looked like he was headed toward the loss even though he had only one real hiccup.
He lasted six innings and gave up four hits and three runs - all in the fourth.
He hit Gordon Beckham in the left elbow and walked Ramirez to start the inning. Garcia, acquired from Detroit in the trade that sent Jake Peavy from Chicago to Boston, drove a two-run triple down the right-field line with two outs and came around on an errant relay to third by Infante.
That gave the White Sox a 3-1 lead, and it seemed that would be enough for Santiago, who had a root canal on Tuesday and wasn't sure he'd be able to pitch in this one.
He woke up with a temperature of 102.7 around 3 a.m. Tuesday and took some cold baths and antibiotics to fight the fever.
Given all that, he delivered a pretty good performance, even if he's now 0-2 in his last nine starts.
Santiago gave up six hits and left with a two-run lead after Martinez lined a single off the left-field wall leading off the sixth. Martinez scored when Ramirez threw wide to first trying to complete a double play on Pena's grounder, making it 3-2.
"I definitely didn't want to miss (the start)," Santiago said.
NOTES: White Sox executive vice president Ken Williams said he never envisioned the team sinking so low and wasn't sure what the lineup will look like next season. "We're looking at who deserves to be asked back," Williams said. "Because this is not White Sox baseball in no way, shape or form." He also said Adam Dunn hasn't met expectations in his three seasons in Chicago until recently, adding, "There is a human element to the game, too; sometimes you just don't get it done." He also said he would be surprised if Paul Konerko doesn't finish the season in Chicago. Konerko has been with the White Sox since 1999 and can veto any trade. ... Tigers manager Jim Leyland had no timetable for Octavio Dotel 's return. Sidelined since April 20 because of inflammation in his pitching elbow, the right-hander threw a scoreless inning for Class A Lakeland on Monday. ... RHP Rick Porcello (8-6, 4.32 ERA) starts Wednesday for Detroit, with LHP John Danks (2-10, 4.52) pitching for Chicago.