(SportsNetwork.com) - Max Scherzer attempts to become the majors' first 14- game winner on Monday when the Detroit Tigers begin a four-game set with the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium.
Scherzer won his fifth straight decision on Wednesday against Chicago and had some help, as the Tigers crossed the plate six times in the first inning. He really didn't need all that support, though, and surrendered a run and five hits in seven innings to run his record to 13-3, while lowering his ERA to 3.27.
"You have to ignore the scoreboard sometimes, and go out there and just pitch," Scherzer said. "Fortunately, I've had the luxury of pitching in these situations because of this offense that we have. I've found that you need to throw your offspeed almost a little bit more, because their hitters are going up there gearing up for the fastball."
Over his last seven starts the American League's reigning Cy Young Award winner is 5-0 with a 2.08 ERA with 56 strikeouts in 47 2/3 innings.
Scherzer's run could continue on Monday, as he owns a 4-1 lifetime mark versus the Yankees with a 4.08 ERA in five starts.
Detroit swept a three-game set from the Colorado Rockies over the weekend and now leads the Kansas City Royals by five games in the AL Central.
New York, meanwhile, won the final two games of its set with the Boston Red Sox to secure a series victory. Brett Gardner's tie-breaking home run in the sixth proved to be the difference in that one, as the left-fielder continued his recent power surge.
Over his last six games Gardner is 11-for-23 with three doubles, five homers and seven RBI. Only Houston's Chris Carter has more homers than Gardner's eight since July 1.
"That's not my game," said Gardner, who is hitless in 14 at-bats versus Scherzer. "It's nice not having to run, beat out an infield hit or a hustle double or triple for a change."
Right-hander Brandon McCarthy gets the call for New York and will try to stay unbeaten in a Yankees uniform. McCarthy won his third straight start on Tuesday in Texas, but was not sharp, as he allowed four runs and nine hits in six innings. Still, he improved to 3-0 since being acquired from Arizona to go along with a 2.55 ERA.
McCarthy has faced the Tigers 16 times (9 starts) and is 3-3 against them with a 3.45 ERA.
McCarthy will have to contain Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera, who is hitting .424 with 10 homers and 23 RBI in his last 16 games in the Bronx, including the playoffs. He homered in all three road games against the Yankees last season.
This series also marks the return to Yankee Stadium for Tigers reliever Joba Chamberlain, who burst on the scene for the Yanks in 2007, but endured six tumultuous seasons after that before agreeing to a free agent deal with Detroit last winter.
"They gave me the opportunity to play baseball," Chamberlain said. "I'm so grateful for that, thankful for the opportunities. Through all the ups and downs and the good years, and the [Joba] rules [limiting the then-young righty's innings] and what have you, but without the opportunity with the New York Yankees, I wouldn't have the opportunity to sit here and talk to you about this."
Detroit split six matchups with the Yankees last season.