Scherzer takes ball for Tigers in Tampa

Right-hander Max Scherzer and the AL Central-leading game series tonight with the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field.

The Tigers won their second straight in the series on Tuesday, when Alex Avila collected two hits and knocked in a run in a 2-1 triumph.

Brad Penny (9-9) allowed one run on eight hits and a walk in 6 1/3 innings in the Tigers' fifth straight win and their sixth in seven games.

Phil Coke tossed two scoreless innings to earn his first save of the year.

David Price (11-11) allowed two runs on six hits and two walks through eight innings as Tampa Bay dropped its second straight contest after a five-game win streak.

Ben Zobrist had two hits and an RBI for the Rays, but grounded out with the go-ahead run in scoring position in the ninth.

Detroit is six games ahead of Cleveland and 6 1/2 in front of Chicago for division bragging rights.

Meanwhile, Scherzer has won two straight starts since dropping a 4-3 decision at Kansas City on Aug. 7.

He beat Baltimore, 6-5, six days later and added a 4-1 defeat of the Indians on Aug. 19 while combining to allow 12 hits and six runs in 14 innings. The defeat of the Indians game him a career-high of 13 on the season, surpassing the 12 victories recorded in 31 starts with the Tigers in 2010.

Scherzer is 0-2 in a pair of starts against the Rays with a 2.84 earned run average in 12 2/3 innings.

Tampa Bay counters with Florida native Wade Davis, who's picked up three straight no-decisions since winning at Oakland on July 28.

The Lake Wales, Fla. product and third-round pick in 2004 has since tossed 21 innings and given up nine runs on 18 hits against Toronto, Kansas City and Seattle -- all three games won by the Rays.

His last loss came in Kansas City on July 22.

Davis has no decisions in a pair of career starts against Detroit, allowing five earned runs in 13 innings.

Tampa Bay is 8-2 in his last 10 outings.