In the midst of a career-best start, Max Scherzer continues to be humbled by his success with the Detroit Tigers this season.
Trying for a career-high sixth straight winning start, Scherzer looks to improve to 13-0 and remain undefeated against the host Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday night.
Scherzer (12-0, 3.10 ERA) is the first Detroit (44-38) pitcher ever to win his first 12 decisions and first major leaguer to do so since Roger Clemens went 14-0 for Boston in 1986. Through it all, the right-hander is quick to deflect the praise coming his way.
"My record is a reflection of our team," Scherzer told the Tigers' official website. "I don't get caught up in the win-loss record, because it's kind of flukey."
Scherzer, who is backed by a major league-best 7.83 run support average, posted a 2.38 ERA while going 5-0 in June. He yielded three runs, four hits, including two homers, and struck out nine in seven innings of a 6-3 win at Tampa Bay on Friday.
He also won five consecutive starts from Aug. 10-Sept. 1.
"He's just good," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "He's got a little of that whiffle ball look from the side, where the ball is jumping all over the place. Then he gets the velocity when he wants it.
"There's a reason why he's 12-0. He's very good.''
Scherzer has looked good while going 3-0 with a 1.59 ERA in five starts versus Toronto (41-42).
He'll try to help the Tigers build on their second win in eight games, 7-6 over the Blue Jays on Tuesday. Miguel Cabrera shook off a sore back to hit his 26th homer and Torii Hunter had four singles, including the tie-breaker in the eighth as Detroit overcame an early 4-0 deficit to end a three-game slide.
"Just a good win for us, we needed it,'' manager Jim Leyland said. "Hopefully we can get things going again.''
Cabrera, who went 0 for 4 in Monday's series-opening 8-3 loss, has homered for six of the 11 hits in his last 31 at-bats while driving in 10 runs. While Cabrera expects the back won't keep him out Wednesday, Leyland will be more cautious.
"He said no rest (Wednesday), he'll be ready,'' Leyland said. "We'll play that one by ear.''
Hunter, who was 1 for 17 in four contests prior to Tuesday, is 3 for 4 with a double and a triple against scheduled Toronto starter Josh Johnson (1-2, 5.21).
The right-hander is 1-0 with a 4.98 ERA in his last four starts, but allowed five runs and eight hits in 3 1-3 innings of a 7-5 loss at Boston on Friday.
"It was one of those frustrating outings where I should have gotten deeper," Johnson told the Blue Jays' official website. "They battled with me. They made me throw a lot of pitches and it just ran up my pitch count."
He was worse in his only previous start against the Tigers when he gave up six runs and seven hits in 1 1-3 innings of an 11-1 loss April 11.
Colby Rasmus homered and had four RBIs on Tuesday for Toronto, which is 3-6 since its 11-game winning streak.
Teammate Jose Bautista is 9 for 17 with three homers and six RBIs in five games since he hit .135 (7 for 52) in his previous 14. He's 6 for 11 with three doubles and a home run versus Scherzer.