Max Scherzer tries to become the first 10-game winner in the American League and keep his perfect record intact on Monday when the Baltimore Orioles begin a three-game series with the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park.
Scherzer became the first Tigers starter to begin a season 9-0 since Vern Kennedy in 1938 last Tuesday in Kansas City, as he held the Royals to a pair of runs and three hits in seven innings.
The right-hander has lost only once over his last 27 starts, including three in last year's playoffs, going 16-1 with a 2.66 ERA. No Tigers starter has ever opened a year with 10 straight wins.
"When you look at win-loss records, I'm on a great offensive team. It's just a flukey stat," said Scherzer, who is pitching to a 3.19 ERA. "For me, it's great to be 9-0, because we're winning. But more importantly, I'm pitching better."
Scherzer has faced the Orioles five times and is 2-1 with a 4.36 ERA.
Detroit will be trying to win its second straight game on Monday after Torii Hunter connected on his 300th career home run to back 7 2/3 strong innings from Doug Fister on Sunday to help the Tigers get past the Minnesota Twins, 5-2.
Hunter added an RBI double in addition to his milestone homer, a two-run shot in the first inning, while Austin Jackson had a two-run blast of his own later on as part of a 2-for-5 day at the plate.
Fister (6-4), meanwhile, carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning and yielded just two hits and a pair of runs over his stint. He added seven strikeouts in halting a five-start winless streak.
"For me to be a part of (Hunter's milestone), it's such an honor for me," said Fister afterward.
Baltimore, meanwhile, is rolling after taking three of four from the Boston Red Sox over the weekend to move within 1 1/2 games of first place in the American League East.
On Sunday, Chris Davis hit a two-run homer and drove in three runs, pacing Baltimore's 6-3 victory. Nick Markakis finished 4-for-5 with two doubles and scored three times for the Orioles, while Adam Jones contributed two doubles and an RBI, with J.J. Hardy and Manny Machado each knocking in a run.
Miguel Gonzalez (5-2) allowed three runs on five hits in 6 1/3 innings, Brian Matusz and Tommy Hunter added 1 2/3 scoreless frames and Jim Johnson tossed a perfect ninth for his 25th save of the season.
"It was fun to watch our hitters hit, especially against Lester," Gonzalez said. "He's been doing a great job this year and always pitched well against us."
Getting the call for the O's on Monday will be righty Jake Arrieta, who hasn't appeared in a big league game since April 21 and is 1-1 on the year with a 6.63 ERA. Arrieta is only getting the start because Jason Hammel is bothered by a stomach virus.
The hope is that Hammel can go later in the week.
Baltimore took two of three from the Tigers earlier in the year.