Baltimore 2, Detroit 4 (box)
When Tigers right hander Max Scherzer was optioned to AAA earlier in the year, his ERA was a ghastly 7.29 and he had struck out just 26 batters in 42 innings. His record in his first eight starts was 1-4.
He was sent down to fix a problem with his mechanics and whatever they found down in Toledo has paid immediate dividends for Detroit.
Scherzer (6-6) worked seven innings last night, earning a win and a series sweep of Baltimore. The Orioles didn’t get their first run until the seventh and by that point they were already down by four. (more after the jump)
Scherzer has now made eight starts since being recalled and his numbers reflect the kind of talent the Tigers knew he had when they traded for him this past winter. With another strong outing last night, Scherzer has now gone 5-2 over his past eight outings, striking out 62 batters over 51.2 innings and posting an ERA of 2.44 in that span. He has allowed just four homers since his recall after yielding nine before he was demoted.
The Tigers got single runs in the first and third, then added two more in the fifth, all coming against Brad Bergesen, who took the loss. Austin Jackson lead off the game with a double and scored on a Magglio Ordonez ground out to start the scoring, then rookie shortstop Danny Worth took Bergesen deep for his first career home run.
Rookie Robbie Weinhardt made his major league debut in relief of Scherzer in the eighth and pitched a scoreless frame, despite hitting the first batter he faced. He came out to pitch the ninth, but was lifted after allowing a triple to start the frame. Phil Coke allowed that runner to score via sacrifice fly, but otherwise slammed the door to earn his first save of the season.
- Danny Worth– Worth’s home run came as a part of a two-hit day. Anything they get from that position offensively is gravy for the Tigers.
- Max Scherzer– Mad Max is quickly becoming one of my favorites. He attacked the hitters all night, throwing just 103 pitches in his seven innings.
- Brandon Inge– Inge’s two hits raised his average to .272 on the year. He’s not clearing the fence as often as we might have expected, but he’s certainly finding the gaps effectively. Over his last 30 games, Inge is homerless, but has hit .343 with a .879 OPS. He’s been huge lately.
The Tigers extended their lead in the Central race to one full game over second place, but it’s no longer the Twins who are closest. The White Sox won their fourth straight last night to keep pace with Detroit, but Minnesota fell to Toronto, dropping to third in the standings. The Tigers have the day off today as they wait for the Twins to come to town this weekend, we’ll have much more on that series coming up later.