Detroit right-hander Max Scherzer seems to be getting hot at the right time. On Tuesday, he goes after his third straight win, as the Tigers begin a three-game set with the Toronto Blue Jays at Comerica Park.
Scherzer won for the sixth time in seven decisions on Wednesday in Minnesota, as he held the Twins to just four hits over seven scoreless innings. He also struck out 10 and improved to 12-6 to go along with a 4.41 ERA.
He walked two in a 27-pitch second inning, but struck out the last three and cruised from there.
"Once I fired myself up and put the adrenaline in and started letting the fastball eat, that's when I got back in the zone and was able to collect some big strikeouts in that situation," said Scherzer, whose 178 strikeouts are within six of his career high and are second in the AL to teammate Justin Verlander. "From then on, I was able to stay in the zone."
Over his last 11 outings Scherzer is 7-2 with a 3.07 ERA.
He should be able to extend his recent run against the Jays, as he is 2-0 in four starts against them with a 1.67 ERA - his lowest against any opponent.
Detroit has lost five of eight after a series loss to Baltimore over the weekend and finds itself two games back of the Chicago White Sox in the American League Central. The Tigers, though, are 1 1/2 games back in the wild card chase.
After going 16-1 at Comerica, the Tigers have lost four of five at home.
Toronto, meanwhile, is probably out of playoff contention, as it enters this series 9 1/2 games behind the leaders in the wild card. The Blue Jays have struggled of late, losing five of six games and dropped two of three over the weekend to the Texas Rangers.
The Blue Jays are 5-15 since they last won a series.
On Tuesday, Toronto hands the ball to struggling lefty Ricky Romero, who has lost his last nine decisions. Romero's most recent setback came on Wednesday against Chicago, which reached him for six runs in six innings.
Romero was 8-1 after beating Miami back on June 22, but has not won in 10 starts since and is 8-10 on the year with a 5.53 ERA. Of course, he was an All-Star last season and won a career-best 15 games.
"It feels like I haven't gotten rewarded all year with anything that I do," Romero said. "I'm feeling good. I've had great weeks of workouts and bullpen sessions, and I'm right where I want to be."
It might not get any easier for him on Tuesday, as he is 1-4 lifetime against the Tigers with a 5.79 ERA in five starts.
Toronto took two of three from the Jays earlier in the season.