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The Juice: Max Scherzer bests Matt Harvey at the plate and on the hill, improves to 19-1

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All season Max Scherzer has given his offense the bulk of the credit for his nearly unblemished pitching record, but on Saturday the credit all belonged to him. Taking the hill for the first time in a National League ballpark this season — aside from the All-Star Game, which was also at Citi Field — Scherzer finally had the opportunity to hit for and help himself. And wouldn’t you know the pitcher across the diamond was Matt Harvey, whom he also started against in the Midsummer Classic.

It wasn’t an easy challenge, but Scherzer figuratively stepped up to plate by tossing six scoreless innings and striking 11. He also literally stepped up to the plate in the second inning and drove in the game’s first run with a double to left center field. It would be all the Tigers needed.

Oh, and don't worry, Scherzer is definitely going to take credit for his own offense.

From the Associated Press:

''I've got a replay and I'm sending a text to everybody right now. It was definitely 96 (mph) down and away, and I laced it for a double,'' Scherzer said. ''I'm never going to shut up. I'm just going to keep talking trash the whole time.''

With Detroit’s 3-0 victory, Scherzer improves to 19-1 on the season. According to Elias Sports (Via ESPN Stats & Info) Scherzer is the third pitcher in MLB history to win 19 of first 20 decisions in a season. The first two were Roger Clemens in 2001 and Rube Marquard in 1912. Very rare and elite company for Scherzer, and he'll have a chance to make it 20-1 on Thursday against the Oakland A's.

Still have their number: The St. Louis Cardinals have had a way of cooling off the Atlanta Braves in recent seasons, and they're doing it again this weekend after taking the first three games of their four-game series. After Adam Wainwright earned his league-leading 15th victory on Friday night, Shelby Miller followed with seven innings of one-run ball in Saturday's 6-2 win. That will leave manager Mike Matheny with a well rested bullpen as the Redbirds go for the sweep on Sunday.

Not enough for Yu: For the tenth time this season, Yu Darvish struck out double digit batters (11), but the Texas Rangers offense could only muster an Alex Rios two-run home run (after hitting home runs on Friday) in the sixth. The White Sox quickly matched those two runs when Adam Dunn homered in the bottom half, and then went to win the game 3-2 on rookie Rookie Josh Phegley's walk-off single in the ninth.

MORE SCORES

Red Sox 4, Dodgers 2: Boston ends the Dodgers four-game winning streak thanks to a four-run first inning and Jon Lester's quality outing.

A's 2, Orioles 1: Oakland evens the series on Coco Crisp's go-ahead homer in the ninth.

Marlins 3, Rockies 0: 21-year-old Jose Fernandez was dominant again, limiting to four hits over seven scoreless innings. He improves to 10-5 with a 2.30 ERA.

Indians 7, Twins 2: Carlos Santana and Jason Kipnis each homer as Cleveland reaches 70 wins.

Nationals 7, Royals 2: Jordan Zimmermann ties Adam Wainwright for the National League lead in wins with 15.

Diamondbacks 12, Phillies 7: You can read all about this wild game right here.

Reds 6, Brewers 3: Cincinnati homered four times, including Ryan Ludwick's first of the season.

Astros 8, Blue Jays 5: Seven straight losses for Toronto, which ties their season-high (July 14-July 24).

Rays 4, Yankees 2: Tampa Bay stays even with Boston as David Price outpitches C.C. Sabathia.

Cubs 3, Padres 2: Darwin Barney homered and Jeff Samardzija gave Chicago eight very strong innings.

Giants 6, Pirates 3: San Francisco plated four in the first off Francisco Liriano and made it hold up.

Angels 6, Mariners 2: Jason Vargas wins his first game since June 17.

"I don't use that cliche, 'one at a time,' I don't use that bull----. All I'm concerned about is who's pitching tomorrow."

— Jim Leyland

View photo

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(USA Today)

— Silhouette of a man: Andrew McCutchen.

• The Padres have designated opening day starter Edinson Volquez for assignment.

• The Cubs have 403 extra base hits this season, which is tops in the National League.

• A's starter Jarrod Parker has won eight straight decisions dating back to May 22.

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