Tigers-White Sox Preview
The last time Max Scherzer took the mound, he turned in another impressive performance against the Chicago White Sox.
He’s about to get a chance to do that again.
The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner looks to help the Tigers sweep this two-game set on the South Side on Wednesday.
Scherzer (2-1, 2.45 ERA) leads the AL with 12.00 strikeouts per nine innings through five starts. The right-hander has totaled 19 of them over 13 innings while winning his last two outings, including another impressive effort in a 7-4 home victory over Chicago (14-14) on Thursday.
He allowed two runs while matching his season high by fanning 10 batters in six innings, improving to 6-1 with a 2.44 ERA and 52 strikeouts over his last eight starts against the White Sox.
"There’s a reason he’s the Cy Young winner," said Chicago’s Adam Dunn, who had a solo shot off Scherzer. "You go against (Justin) Verlander one night and then you have to go against Scherzer, and they are both just so tough. They have so many pitches that they can throw for strikes that you are always in trouble against them."
Detroit (13-9) is delivering that one-two punch on the mound in this series. Verlander allowed three runs in seven innings before Bryan Holaday bunted home Austin Jackson with two outs in the ninth to secure a 4-3 win Tuesday.
Scherzer, though, did struggle in his most recent visit to U.S. Cellular Field on Sept. 9, allowing five runs in four innings while his throwing error scored one run.
Victor Martinez owns a career .348 average there. He’s 7 for 14 over the past four visits after getting two hits while plating one run Tuesday.
Miguel Cabrera, meanwhile, is hitting .387 with 10 homers and 27 RBIs in his last 31 games overall against the White Sox. The two-time reigning AL MVP is 8 for 17 while driving in six runs over the past four meetings this year.
Hector Noesi (0-1, 11.74) will try to slow Martinez, Cabrera and the Tigers down in a spot start after the White Sox optioned an ineffective Erik Johnson to Triple-A Charlotte on Saturday.
Noesi had already pitched for Seattle and Texas this month before tossing a scoreless 1 1-3 innings Saturday against Tampa Bay in his White Sox debut.
"Well, it’s an experience for me, and I learn from that too," Noesi told the team’s official website. "It’s really hard. I jump places too, and just to a different team. I just need a role and to keep my role up."
The right-hander hasn’t started since he lasted 4 1-3 innings for the Mariners in the Bronx on May 16. He’s 0-2 with a 10.97 ERA in 13 relief appearances since then.
Noesi has faced the Tigers once, surrendering four runs – two on a homer by Cabrera – in five-plus innings for the Mariners on April 26, 2012.
Jose Abreu is hitting .370 with six homers, 18 RBIs and 12 runs in his last 11 games. The first baseman is 5 for 20 versus the Tigers, connecting for a pair of homers with four RBIs.
He fanned twice while going 0 for 3 versus Scherzer last week.