Scherzer shines as Tigers claw back White Sox

Scherzer shines as Tigers claw back White Sox
Updated 14 September 2012

Scherzer shines as Tigers claw back White Sox

Scherzer shines as Tigers claw back White Sox

CHICAGO: Starter Max Scherzer was dominant early and the Detroit batters backed him up in the latter stages as the Tigers ate into Chicago’s American League Central lead with an 8-6 victory over the White Sox on Wednesday.
Scherzer (16-6) struck out seven, to increase his Major League-leading total to 220, and allowed just one run in six innings to set the tone for Detroit as they pulled within one game of Chicago at the top of the division.
“I knew this was the biggest start for me this season,” Scherzer told reporters. “It’s September baseball. I wanted the ball in this situation for that very reason.” The Tigers have won two-of-three in the series heading into Thursday’s finale.
Detroit (75-67) took control with three runs in the fifth inning and kept piling it on with Prince Fielder’s three-run home run in the seventh for a 6-1 lead.
They moved 8-1 ahead in the top of the eighth but the White Sox (76-66) made a late charge against the visiting bullpen.
Kevin Youkilis blasted a three-run homer in the bottom of the eighth, where Chicago scored four runs, and their rally brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth but Orlando Hudson struck out to end the game.
Youkilis also homered in the fourth against Scherzer.
Chicago starter Gavin Floyd returned from an elbow injury that had kept him out since Aug. 26, but his outing lasted just 4 2/3 innings.
In Minneapolis, the Kansas City Royals seem as though they’ve been a team on the rise for years, with each crop of hot young prospects supposedly the group that is going to drag the franchise up from the depths of the AL Central.
Billy Butler is hoping this latest batch of fresh faces will finally help them finish the job.
Butler had three hits and three RBIs, and the Kansas City Royals’ bullpen picked up struggling starter Luke Hochevar with four scoreless innings in a 10-5 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday night.
“I just think it’s good for our young guys to get confidence. I think every year I’ve been here we’ve had good Septembers, but we got a good August and September,” Butler said. “Outside of a 12-game losing streak earlier in the season we’ve played really good baseball. ... We’ve been really consistent after that, and it’s something we can build on in the offseason and it might make us ready sooner.” Salvador Perez homered and drove in two runs for the Royals, who sent 10 batters to the plate in their five-run fifth and another nine in a four-run eighth.
The Royals went 17-11 in August and have won four of their last five games to improve to 6-6 in September. But they remain a few front-of-the-rotation arms away from being a legitimate threat.
Hochevar was supposed to be one of those guys, but he continues to underwhelm. He got behind 1-0 in the first on Wednesday night after a leadoff triple from Span, walked three straight batters in the third, including Doumit with the bases loaded, and gave up two more runs after the Royals handed him a 6-3 lead in the fifth.
In Boston, Curtis Granderson hit two home runs, Robinson Cano also homered and the New York Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox 5-4 to remain tied for first place in the AL East.
The Yankees finished the game without shortstop Derek Jeter, who left in the eighth after pulling up lame running out a double-play grounder to end the inning.
Manager Joe Girardi said Jeter wanted to stay in the game, but he told the shortstop to go put ice on his foot. Girardi said it was a bone bruise, but Jeter said it was a sprained ankle.
A day after Jacoby Ellsbury’s game-ending single dropped New York into a tie with Baltimore atop the division, the Yankees got all their runs on homers to remain there. The Orioles beat Tampa Bay 3-2 on Wednesday night, preserving the tie and dropping the Rays three games back in the division.
David Phelps (4-4) gave up one run on five hits and a walk in 5 2-3 innings, striking out five. Rafael Soriano got four outs for his 37th save, but not before allowing a solo homer to Jarrod Saltalamacchia to lead off the ninth
In Baltimore, It was just over a month ago when the Baltimore Orioles summoned 20-year-old Manny Machado from the minor leagues and thrust him into the middle of a pennant race.
The kid hasn’t felt the pressure yet. To the contrary, Machado is hitting in the clutch, playing third base as if he’s done it all his life and making heady decisions that leave opponents shaking their heads.
Machado made a brilliant defensive play in the top of the ninth and scored the winning run in the bottom half, and the Orioles beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-2 to retain a share of first place in the AL East.
Nate McLouth drove in the decisive run for the Orioles, who moved 18 games over .500 (80-62) for the first time since the end of the 1997 season. Baltimore started the day tied atop the division with the New York Yankees, who won 5-4 at Boston.
In Arlington, Josh Hamilton and Adrian Beltre didn’t need to play the entire game to make their mark.
The Rangers will now wait and see if their top two sluggers will be sidelined.


Hamilton and Beltre homered before each left the game with injuries, and Texas beat the slumping Cleveland Indians 5-2.
Hamilton left in the eighth with left knee soreness and Beltre exited in the fifth with a strained left shoulder. Beltre had an MRI on Wednesday night and the results won’t be known until Thursday. Texas manager Ron Washington said taking Hamilton out of the game was precautionary and he didn’t consider the injury serious.
“Hopefully, things won’t last long with those guys,” Washington said. “But we certainly can’t stop the season, so we’re going to play with what we’ve got and we’re going to expect to win.” Beltre injured his shoulder when he made a diving stop of Russ Canzler’s grounder in the second.
Mike Olt, who replaced Beltre at third, left the game in the bottom of the seventh with plantar fasciitis in his right foot. Olt, who will have an MRI Thursday, was limping just before he reached first beating out an infield single.
In Anaheim, California, at the start of spring training, Oakland manager Bob Melvin didn’t know who A.J. Griffin was. Things have changed quite dramatically since then.
Griffin threw eight scoreless innings, becoming the second Athletics pitcher in 85 years to start his career with six straight wins, and Oakland beat the Los Angeles Angels 4-1.
Oakland, the AL wild-card leader, stayed three games behind first-place Texas in the AL West. But the surprising A’s have a five-game cushion with 20 to play in the race for the league’s final postseason spot.
Griffin (6-0) allowed six hits, struck out six and walked none in the longest of his 11 major league starts. The 24-year-old right-hander, one of four rookies in the A’s rotation along with Jarrod Parker, Dan Straily and Tommy Milone, lowered his ERA to 1.94 in his third start off the disabled list.
Pitching on nine days’ rest didn’t work. So what is next for Ricky Romero? The Blue Jays left-hander lost his 13th consecutive decision in his past 14 starts when the Seattle Mariners beat Toronto 3-2. Romero tied the club record for consecutive losing decisions, set by Tom Underwood in 1978-79.
He allowed eight hits, four walks and three runs in four-plus innings, and he did not appear to be happy when given the hook by manager John Farrell after he gave up a walk and a single to the first two batters in the fifth.
Having tried everything else, perhaps Farrell could have given Romero the chance to work out his own jam. Romero had made 87 pitches, a lot for four-plus innings, but not a lot in total.
Still, the Blue Jays say they have faith in the 27-year-old who began the season as their ace.