Tigers 5, Rockies 0
Max Scherzer and the Detroit Tigers still have plenty of work to
do if they want to win a second straight AL Central title.
This weekend, though, they took two big steps in the right
One day after Doug Fister returned from the disabled list to
pitch shutout ball, the inconsistent Scherzer struck out 12 in
eight dominant innings as Detroit beat the staggering Colorado
Rockies 5-0 on Sunday.
”This was extremely important for me,” Scherzer said. ”It was
especially big to go eight, because we’ve got a lot of tired arms
in our bullpen.”
Detroit rookie Quintin Berry had a career-high five hits, while
Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera each had an RBI double. Gerald
Laird added three hits to help the Tigers win their third straight
series, all against National League teams.
”You never think about going 5 for 5,” said Berry, who had
never gotten four hits in a game before, much less five. ”It is
just something that happens. I was getting a lot of pitches to hit
with Austin (Jackson) on base, because no one is going to fool
around with him.”
Rockies starter Jeremy Guthrie was pulled after a 53-minute rain
delay in the fourth. Colorado has lost 10 of 11.
The Rockies were missing slugger Carlos Gonzalez, scratched
moments before the first pitch with what was announced as a sore
right hamstring. He was replaced in the lineup by Dexter Fowler,
who struck out in his first three at-bats, all with runners on
”It actually turned out to be a strained right knee,” Colorado
manager Jim Tracy said. ”He did it running sprints to get ready
for the game. They had already played the national anthem and the
umpires were on the field when our assistant trainer told me that
CarGo couldn’t play. Right now, it is day to day. We’ll have to
The game was delayed by rain in the top of the fourth, but
Scherzer stayed on the mound to finish that inning and four
”I was definitely going back out there,” Scherzer said.
”There would have been chairs thrown if I didn’t.”
Scherzer (6-4) fanned every Rockies starter other than Marco
Scutaro in his third double-digit strikeout performance of the
season. He gave up seven hits and didn’t walk a batter while
throwing 122 pitches.
”He really overmatched them, to be honest,” Tigers manager Jim
Leyland said. ”He attacked the strike zone with outstanding stuff.
He was throwing 97-98 (mph) with a good slider, changeup and
command of the strike zone.”
Brayan Villarreal finished up with one strikeout in a hitless
Scherzer has struck out at least nine batters six times this
season, most in the majors.
”He came out better after the rain delay. His fastball had more
life and his slider and changeup were both working more
effectively,” Tracy said. ”That’s the performance of a warrior
and a stud.”
Guthrie (3-6) allowed four runs – three earned – on eight hits
and two walks.
The Tigers took a 1-0 lead on Laird’s RBI double in the second,
then added two more runs in the third.
Berry singled after Guthrie misplayed a foul pop for an error,
then took second on a balk. Miguel Cabrera walked and Fielder
followed with an RBI double. Brennan Boesch flied out but Jhonny
Peralta was intentionally walked and Ramon Santiago made it 4-0
with a two-run single.
”Laird hit an 0-2 pitch in the second, and then Jeremy calls
for the popped-up bunt from the mound and then hesitates at the
last second and doesn’t get it,” Tracy said. ”Then allows another
0-2 hit, and then he balks. I think it is fair to ask about his
focus at that point.”
Guthrie would have been happy to keep pitching after the rain
delay, but didn’t get the chance.
”I told them that I wouldn’t have any problem pitching after
the rain,” he said. ”They made a decision based on my
performance, rather than the delay. I just wasn’t pitching well
enough to go back out there.”
Cabrera capped the scoring with an RBI double in the sixth.
NOTES: Guthrie held the Tigers scoreless in his previous two
starts against them, both in 2010. He went 2-0, allowing seven hits
in 15 innings. … Scherzer is the first Tigers starter with six
nine-strikeout games in Detroit’s first 66 games since Hal
Newhouser in 1946. … The Tigers announced before the game that
rookie Jacob Turner will start Thursday’s series finale against the