Max Scherzer carries his unblemished mark into Kansas City on Tuesday when the Detroit Tigers continue a three-game series versus the Royals at Kauffman Stadium.
Scherzer has been brilliant for the Tigers this season, especially lately, as he is 3-0 with a 1.86 ERA over his last four starts. The hard-throwing righty beat the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday, limiting them to a run and four hits over seven innings. He also struck out nine to run his record to 8-0, while lowering his ERA to 3.24.
With a win on Tuesday Scherzer will become the team's first starting pitcher since Vern Kennedy in 1938 to start a season 9-0.
"I'm showing consistency with four pitches and I feel like that's really what's allowing me to be effective and pitch deep into games and do all the little things well," Scherzer said after the Tampa Bay win. . "I realize the league's probably going to make adjustments to me and I've got to be ready to still pitch my best when maybe I don't have my best stuff."
Scherzer beat the Royals earlier in the year, but was not impressive in giving up five runs in five innings. For his career he is 7-4 against them with a 3.84 ERA in 14 starts.
He may have his work cut out for him tonight against a red-hot Royals team that took care of business in Monday's opener, as Lorenzo Cain's RBI single capped a three-run third inning and proved to be the difference in Kansas City's 3-2 triumph.
Jeremy Guthrie (7-3) limited the potent Tigers lineup to two runs on six hits and three walks over 6 1/3 frames to help the Royals notch their sixth straight victory, the club's longest win streak since taking seven in a row from Sept. 10-17, 2011.
In fact, at 7-2 this month the Royals are one win away from matching their total from May when they went a dismal 8-20.
Three Kansas City relievers combined for 1 2/3 scoreless innings before Greg Holland hurled a perfect ninth to nail down his 13th save.
Miguel Cabrera clubbed a two-run homer to account for Detroit's offense, while starter Doug Fister (5-4) went the distance in defeat, giving up three runs on nine hits over eight innings.
"I felt like I made some timely pitches when I needed to, but they hit a couple balls that found holes," Fister said. "That's what they needed to do."
Hoping to keep the Royals rolling on Tuesday will be righty Wade Davis, who is 3-5 with a 5.66 ERA. Davis did not get a decision on Thursday against Minnesota, as he allowed three runs - all unearned - and four hits in five innings of a 7-3 win.
"(My) arm strength is getting up there," Davis said. "I feel like I'm getting stronger, the consistency is getting easier. Right now, I'm just working on fastball command."
Davis lost to the Tigers back on April 24 and is 0-1 in eight games (4 starts) against them with a 3.90 ERA.
Kansas City has won two of three from the Tigers this season.