If the Detroit Tigers keep getting strong performances from their starting pitchers, another winning streak could be in their near future.
Scherzer will try to help Detroit rebound from the end of its five-game win streak and earn his third straight victory Thursday night in the opener of a four-game series at the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Tigers (63-64) led Kansas City 3-0 after six innings Wednesday, but their bullpen faltered en route to a 4-3 loss in 12 innings. Jose Valverde(notes) gave up the tying run, snapping a streak of 24 consecutive converted save opportunities.
Leyland’s starting pitchers have proved steadier recently with a 1.09 ERA over the last six games. Scherzer (9-9, 3.73 ERA) has been consistent even longer, with a 1.72 ERA in 12 starts since June 20.
The right-hander has allowed two runs or fewer in five consecutive outings, including Saturday’s 5-2 win over Cleveland.
It’s a long way from earlier this season, when Scherzer was sent to Triple-A Toledo after going 1-4 with a 7.29 ERA in his first eight starts with the Tigers. He’s 8-5 with a 2.28 ERA since being recalled May 30.
“Right now, I’m executing pitches,” Scherzer told the Tigers’ official website. “Everybody wants to look at the look at the difference between now and then, but I’m not. I’m going out there pitching. Next start I have is against Toronto. I’m going to go out there and try to execute as many pitches as I can, and hopefully give the team a chance to win.”
Scherzer, who is seeking to reach 10 wins for the first time in his career, has never pitched against the Blue Jays (66-60), who lead the majors with 192 homers.
He’ll face a team that’s attempting to earn back-to-back victories for the first time in 10 days. The Blue Jays took two of three games from the Yankees this week, including a 6-3 victory Wednesday night as Vernon Wells(notes) finished a double shy of the cycle and matched a season high with four RBIs.
Toronto will give the ball to Ricky Romero(notes) (10-7, 3.50), who will try to earn a career high-tying fourth straight win while continuing to recover from strep throat. The left-hander, who spent two days away from the team, has given up at least four runs in two of his last three outings, including Saturday’s 5-4, 11-inning loss to Boston.
Romero is 1-2 with a 4.26 ERA in three starts against the Tigers. He allowed three runs over seven innings of a 5-2 defeat July 22.
“I know if I pitch my game, I’m in good shape,” Romero told the Blue Jays’ official website following his last start.