Max Scherzer will try once again to make history on Saturday afternoon as the Detroit Tigers resume their three-game set against the Texas Rangers.
Scherzer, who sits with an unblemished 13-0 record, is attempting to become the first pitcher to start a season 14-0 since Roger Clemens in 1986 and the first ever to take a 14-0 record into the All-Star break. He put forth an impressive effort his last time out on July 8, allowing just two earned runs over seven innings while striking out seven, but he had to settle for the no- decision against Cleveland.
"I don't want to focus much on that," Scherzer said of his perfect record following his latest start, which the Tigers ended up winning 4-2 in 10 innings. "It was just a great team win, our best of the year."
Scherzer has now gone 10 straight starts allowing three earned runs or less to lower his ERA to 3.06. He's also added to his dominant season by ranking second in the American League in strikeouts (146), WHIP (0.95) and batting average against (.200).
The 28-year-old All Star has never lost to the Rangers in his career, going 4-0 with a 3.35 ERA in seven starts.
The Rangers will answer with left-hander Derek Holland, who's in the midst of a stellar season himself at 7-4 with a 3.19 ERA.
Holland found himself in trouble often during his last start, yielding 10 hits and three walks in 6 2/3 innings, but he escaped the outing allowing just three earned runs to earn the win.
The southpaw has faced the Tigers once already this year and did not fare well, surrendering eight hits, three walks and four earned runs in less than five innings of work.
On Friday night, Detroit jumped on the Rangers early and held on for a 7-2 victory in the series opener.
The Tigers put up a five-spot in the bottom of the first inning, highlighted by a bases-loaded double from Jhonny Peralta. Peralta finished with two hits on the night, as did Austin Jackson, Torii Hunter and Prince Fielder.
With an RBI double in the second, Victor Martinez extended his hitting streak to 14 games.
"(I've) been more lucky I think," said Martinez, who's upped his average nearly 30 points in July to .261. "I've been definitely putting good swings, putting good at-bats, and finally balls have started falling."
The early run support gave Doug Fister (7-5) plenty of breathing room to work with, and he took advantage by pitching six strong innings, allowing two earned runs while striking out five.
Justin Grimm (7-7) was touched up for 10 hits and seven runs in 3 1/3 inning, marking the third straight start he has pitched four innings or less.
The Rangers' only runs came in the fourth inning on a solo homer by A.J. Pierzynski and an RBI single by Jurickson Profar. Adrian Beltre went 0-for-4, snapping his 13-game hitting streak in the process.
Texas is 11-5 versus the Tigers over the past 16 meetings.