(Sports Network) - Max Scherzer goes after his major league-leading 15th win
on Saturday when the Detroit Tigers play the middle test of a three-game
series with the Philadelphia Phillies at Comerica Park.
Scherzer started his second half in winning fashion on Monday, as he held the
Chicago White Sox to a pair of runs and four hits in eight innings. He also
struck out five without walking a batter and improved to 14-1, while lowering
his ERA to 3.14.
"When you look at the swings and misses, obviously if you're able to generate
strikeouts and minimize walks, that's a huge recipe for success," Scherzer
said. "Those are results of attacking hitters with four pitches. The process
is using four pitches. Analyzing results is looking at the strikeout-to-walk
The right-hander won for the 20th time in his last 30 starts since Aug. 10,
the most in the majors in that span. However, Scherzer lost to the Phils the
only time he faced them, allowing five runs in just four innings.
Philadelphia, meanwhile, turns to lefty Raul Valdes, who makes a spot start in
place of Cliff Lee. Amid trade rumors with Wednesday's non-waiver trade
deadline approaching, Lee was scratched on Friday with a stiff neck.
Valdes has a 7.59 ERA in 11 appearances out of the bullpen this season.
Detroit beat the Phillies for the first time at Comerica on Friday, as Alex
Avila hit a two-run double to back Doug Fister, as the Tigers handed Cole
Hamels his 13th loss of the season with a 2-1 victory.
Fister (9-5), who at one point retired 12 batters in a row, allowed an
unearned run and three singles over eight innings for the AL Central-leading
Tigers, who played without third baseman Miguel Cabrera (hip flexor) and
outfielder Torii Hunter (sore Achilles).
"There were a couple of innings today (where I was) attacking the zone and
within a couple of pitches they were hit right to guys," Fister said. "Lucky
for me I have great defense behind me."
Joaquin Benoit pitched around a leadoff hit by Jimmy Rollins in the ninth to
earn his 10th save. Rollins did move into scoring position, swiping second
with one out and third with two gone, but Darin Ruf grounded out to second to
end the game.
Hamels (4-13) had just the one hiccup, but the Phillies' offense continued to
snooze. Philadelphia has scored only 10 runs during a season-high six-game
This series marks the Phillies' first trip to Detroit since pulling off a
series sweep in the 2002 season.
The Sports Network