Max Scherzer has been as dominant immediately following the All-Star break as he was before it.
He’s pitched extremely well of late against the lowly Chicago White Sox.
Hoping to match his career high with a 16th win, the right-hander tries to help the Detroit Tigers extend their season-high winning streak to seven and send the visiting White Sox on their first nine-game slide in almost 22 years Saturday night.
Scherzer (15-1, 3.01 ERA) suffered his first loss when he allowed four runs in six innings to Texas in his last outing before starting for the AL in the All-Star game. He’s yielded two runs and five hits over 14 innings to win his first two starts after the break.
Pitching on his 29th birthday last Saturday, Scherzer became the fourth pitcher since 1979 to go 15-1 after he allowed one hit and struck out seven in six innings of a 10-0 victory at Philadelphia. Roger Clemens was the most recent to start 16-1 for the New York Yankees in 2001.
Scherzer also has received a major league-best 7.64 average runs of support.
“That’s why I love being in Detroit,” he said. “If you go out and pitch well, you have a good chance to win the ballgame.”
His teammates totaled 20 runs while he’s yielded three, 12 hits and fanned 21 in 22 innings to win three straight starts against the White Sox (40-67). Scherzer allowed two solo homers and two other hits over eight innings of a 7-3 victory at Chicago on July 22.
The Tigers (62-45) improved to 6-0 on an eight-game homestand with Friday’s 2-1 win in the series opener. They’ve won seven straight at home and 10 of 11 overall.
Austin Jackson homered and Jose Iglesias had an RBI in his first game since being acquired from Boston in a three-team trade that sent Jake Peavy from Chicago to the Red Sox. Iglesias started at third base in place of Miguel Cabrera, who could miss a third straight contest with an abdomen strain.
Iglesias, who hit .330 in 63 games for Boston this season, could soon start at shortstop with Jhonny Peralta facing a possible suspension amid the fallout from baseball’s investigation into the Biogenesis of America anti-aging clinic.
“I just want to help this team win, no matter what position,” Iglesias said.
Prince Fielder, who scored on Iglesias’ fourth-inning single, is 5 for 7 with a homer against scheduled Chicago starter John Danks (2-8, 4.57).
Jackson is batting .414 (12 for 29) with three homers against the left-hander, who is 0-3 with an 11.90 ERA in his last four starts versus Detroit. He allowed six runs, including five on homers to Fielder, Jackson and Torii Hunter, over seven innings of a 6-2 loss July 24.
He’s posted a 7.06 ERA in losing his last four starts at Comerica Park.
Danks is 0-3 with a 4.86 ERA in his previous five starts overall, but he allowed one earned run and two hits in six innings while not factoring in the decision of a 3-2 loss at Cleveland on Monday.
“I wasn’t as good as I needed to be,” said Danks, who walked a season-high four. “My command was lacking.”
The White Sox, who have lost 11 of 12, last dropped nine in a row Aug. 19-28, 1991.
Alex Rios had two hits with an RBI on Friday, but he’s 3 for 27 with eight strikeouts against Scherzer.