Tigers get clobbered again, 10-0 at Oakland

Tigers center fielder Austin Jackson just misses a home-run ball off the bat of Athletics designated hitter Brandon Moss during the second inning Sunday.

Lance Iversen/Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports

Max Scherzer, Tigers fans turn their lonely eyes to you now.

The Tigers used to rely on Justin Verlander to be the stopper when things were going badly, but now they’re hoping the reigning AL Cy Young winner can be the guy to stop the bleeding.

After a 10-0 thumping at the hands of the A’s Monday in Oakland, the Tigers have lost seven of their last eight.

In the last eight games, Tigers starters have allowed 44 earned runs on 75 hits in 44 innings.

"The starting pitching right now is the issue," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus told FOX Sports Detroit’s Trevor Thompson on the post-game show. "We didn’t score runs today. We didn’t hit today, but we’ve gotten hits over the past few games. I’m not concerned about that. We’ll score runs.

"And we’re going to pitch fine, too. Our starting pitching will be fine, but we’re just in a really long rut right now, so hopefully (Tuesday) Max takes the mound and rights the ship."

Drew Smyly, starting for the first time in a week, fell to 2-3 with a 3.86 ERA after allowing six runs on eight hits in just five innings. He walked two and struck out three.

Oddly, four of the eight hits were solo home runs, a new career high against Smyly.

"I was just trying to go attack the hitters," Smyly told Thompson. "I feel like I was putting myself in good counts, then make one mistake, they just hit a home run.

"I don’t know how you give up four solo home runs in one game, but it happens. So just wasn’t my best day."

Brandon Moss and Kyle Blanks got Smyly in the second inning. Center fielder Austin Jackson nearly robbed Moss but wasn’t able to keep it in his glove.

"He made an outstanding play," Moss told Thompson on the field after the game. "I thought he caught it, then I saw it pop out.

"Definitely would have been one of the best plays I’ve ever seen. I was just thankful he didn’t catch it."

Josh Donaldson and Yoenis Cespedes got Smyly in the third.

"Just do better next start," Smyly said. "Hopefully, it goes in my favor."

After rolling out 11 straight road wins, the Tigers have seen things go decidedly south since their belated arrival in Cleveland due to plane trouble.

They lost all three games in Cleveland, two in extra innings, which started a bad trip through the rotation.

In their last six games, the Tigers have allowed 56 runs, an average of 9.3 runs a game. That won’t win many contests.

Scherzer is 6-1 with a 2.59 ERA, but he’ll be matched up Tuesday against Sonny Gray, who’s 5-1 with a league-leading 1.99 ERA.

"I think you’ll see some outstanding pitching," MOss said. "There’s no shying away from that. Runs are gonna be at a premium."

Despite allowing seven earned runs on 12 hits in seven innings against Cleveland last time, Scherzer is more than capable of halting the skid.

"We wanted to turn it around three days ago, but it just hasn’t happened," Ausmus said. "Baseball is not football. You can’t force it down players’ throats.

"Something’s gotta click. Something’s gotta happen. We have to have a good outing from our starter, and all of a sudden, everything’s back to normal. Hopefully, it’s (Tuesday)."