Scherzer targets win No. 18 at Chicago
Max Scherzer goes after his 18th win of the season on Tuesday when the Detroit Tigers continue their three-game series with the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field.
Scherzer won his fourth straight start and improved to 17-1 on Thursday in Cleveland, as he held the Indians to a pair of runs and four hits over seven innings to lower his ERA to 2.84.
With another win on Tuesday Scherzer will become the first Tigers pitcher to win 18 games in his first 24 starts since Denny McLain did it in 23 during his 1968 Cy Young Award-winning season.
"It's not so much my achievement. It's a team achievement," said Scherzer, who's pitching to a 1.24 ERA since the All-Star break. "If I'm going to sit here and take credit for these wins and say I'm the reason why we're winning, I'd be pretty naive."
Scherzer stands a good chance at staying in the win column on Tuesday, as he has beaten the White Sox four straight times and is 2-0 this season against them with a 1.15 ERA in two starts. Overall, he's 7-4 against them with a 2.31 ERA in 15 assignments.
Chicago, meanwhile, will counter with lefty Hector Santiago, who is 3-7 with a 3.43 ERA. Santiago did not get a decision against the New York Yankees on Wednesday but was not particularly sharp, as he gave up four runs and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings of his team's 6-5 win.
Santiago is 0-2 in nine game (2 starts) versus the Tigers with a 2.63 ERA.
Chicago drew first blood in this set on Monday, as Chris Sale tossed a complete game and received some rare help from his offense in the White Sox' 6-2 victory.
Sale (8-11), who has received the lowest run support of any starting pitcher in the majors this season, scattered nine hits and did not walk a batter in going the distance for the fourth time in 2013. The All-Star lefty was backed by a 14-hit attack and a three-run fifth inning that carried Chicago to only its fifth win in the last 18 games.
Gordon Beckham and Jeff Keppinger led the charge with three hits apiece, while Josh Phegley went 2-for-4 with two RBI in the triumph.
"Our record doesn't show it, but we're playing better baseball just in terms of playing cleaner, making routine plays, putting us in position to possibly win the game," Beckham said.
Detroit lost for the third time in four outings following a season-best 12- game win streak despite two more hits from Miguel Cabrera, who homered for the fourth straight game.
Doug Fister (10-6) took the loss after being reached for four runs on eight hits over six innings.
"I didn't do enough," Fister said. "We have plenty of confidence in the offense to put it together and pick me up, but at the same time I didn't do my job. I've got to go out there and give them a better chance to win, especially against a great pitcher we were facing tonight."
Cabrera, who is hitting .432 with five home runs and 12 RBI over a 10-game hitting streak, leads the majors with a .366 average and 111 RBI, but his 37 homers are second to Baltimore's Chris Davis (43) as he tries to become the first hitter to record back-to-back Triple Crown seasons.
Detroit has won seven of 11 meetings in the head-to-head matchup this season. The Tigers swept a three-game set at home in early August, as they allowed only three runs for the series.