American League Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, May 26th (All times eastern)
Detroit Tigers (21-24) at Minnesota Twins (15-30), 2:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Detroit - Max Scherzer (3-3, 5.73) Minnesota - Carl Pavano (2-3, 4.91)
(Sports Network) - Throughout his career, Max Scherzer has proven to be one of the streakiest pitchers in the game. His 2012 campaign has been no different, and though his performance overall has left the Tigers much to be desired, he is fresh off a masterful performance last Sunday.
Scherzer earned the win in an interleague game against the Pirates in his last start, going seven innings while allowing four hits, a walk, two earned runs, and racking up an astonishing 15 strikeouts - the most by a major league pitcher this season and just one off the club record of 16 set by Mickey Lolich in 1969.
All of Scherzer's strikeouts were swinging, using his deadly combination of fastball-changeup to baffle Pirate batters all afternoon.
"I want to be somebody on this team that can step up and help this team win," Scherzer said. "I know I'm capable of it on a consistent basis."
Despite the dominating performance, Scherzer's ERA is still hovering just below six. He will try to prove his last outing was no fluke against the Twins, though he is just 1-1 in six career starts against them with an ERA of 6.45.
Carl Pavano will take the hill for Minnesota. He was also solid in his last start, going six innings and striking out six while allowing just five hits, a walk, and two earned runs, while claiming a no decision in the Twins' win against the Brewers last Saturday.
The right-hander has been bothered by a sore shoulder of late and has been working with a soft tissue specialist to overcome the discomfort, though it has not caused him to miss any time as of yet.
Pavano has not been effective in four home starts this season, going 0-1 with a 6.65 ERA to go along with just seven strikeouts in 23 innings at Target Field in 2012. He is also a lackluster 0-3 with a 5.95 ERA in three starts against the Tigers since the start of the 2011 season.
After being swept by the first place Indians earlier in the week, the Tigers got the offensive outburst it desperately needed on Friday, taking control of this series with a 10-6 victory.
The slumbering Tigers offense woke up to the tune of 16 hits, with Prince Fielder, Delmon Young, and Brennan Boesch all collecting three a piece. Fielder and Boesch each added two RBI, while Alex Avila went 2-for-4 with three RBI out of the eight hole.
"This is our team," Tiger manager Jim Leyland said. "This is what we've got. That's a little bit more what we're supposed to look like. Hopefully it gets contagious and we get on a little roll."
Drew Smyly (2-1) wasn't great, and things looked rough after allowing two first inning runs, but the rookie left-hander managed to get through five innings allowing six hits, two walks, and four runs (three earned) for the win.
For the Twins, Anthony Swarzak (0-4) was touched up in his first start since April 19, surrendering nine hits and six earned runs in 3 2/3 innings. Francisco Liriano didn't do much better controlling the damage out of the bullpen, allowing four earned runs in 2 2/3.
Minnesota has dropped three straight, and its 15-30 record is tied with the Chicago Cubs for the worst mark in baseball.
05/26 10:27:14 ET