Max Scherzer is pitching so well that he can even win in Cleveland.
Scherzer has been on a roll since mid-June, and that didn’t change against the Indians. He pitched seven innings, allowing two runs on four hits in Detroit’s 5-3 win.
“I thought I made some really good pitches in the last couple innings, and that capped off a very nice outing,” Scherzer told FOX Sports Detroit’s Ryan Field after the game. “Our offense took advantages of their mistakes and I gave us a chance to win. That’s why we are good right now.”
Scherzer has gone 5-1 with a 2.54 ERA in his last seven starts, striking out 54 batters in 46 innings. Wednesday, his only rough stretch lasted two batters. He walked Johnny Damon to start the third inning and Casey Kotchman followed with his 10th homer of the season.
“His control wasn’t all that great, but he didn’t give in,” Leyland said. “He pitched. He made pitches when he needed them, and that’s what he needs to do.”
By that point, though, the Tigers had already scored three runs and they added two more before Scherzer left the game. Jose Valverde, making his return from a sore back, allowed a ninth-inning homer to Travis Hafner before finishing off the victory.
The win was just Detroit’s second in eight games against the Indians this season, and the first at Progressive Field.
With Andy Dirks sitting out his rehab assignment in Toledo with general soreness, Quintin Berry picked the perfect night to break out of his second-half slump. Berry, who will be fighting for playing time with Dirks, Brennan Boesch, Delmon Young and Ryan Raburn, had three hits and two RBI in the victory.
“This was a big win, because Max pitched a great game, and we were able to put some pressure on them offensively,” Berry told Field. “Guys were getting on base ahead of me, and I was getting good pitches to hit.”
The win was sweeter for Berry, because his big-league career started during Detroit’s last trip to Cleveland.
“This is awesome, because this is where it all started with my drive here from Toledo,” he said. “I was talking about it with my wife — all the things we have been through since I’ve been in the majors, and how great it has been — and now we’re back to the beginning. When I came up, I wanted to be still be on the team when we came back here, and I made it.”
Judging from Leyland’s postgame comments, Berry is going to get to see a lot more stadiums.
“He had a great game, and he’s done a whale of a job for us,” Leyland said. “I really liked what I saw tonight – he wasn’t trying to do too much. He stayed within himself and just laid the bat on the ball.”