Scherzer eyes 14th win against familiar Tribe
Kazmir counters for Indians, trying to gain ground in AL Central
By Bobby Nightengale /7/7/2013 5:27 PM ET
When Max Scherzer takes the mound to face the Indians at Progressive Field on Monday, he'll have a chance to match Roger Clemens' 14-0 start from the 1986 season. From there, he's only a short walk from history.
Only two pitchers in modern American League history have started a season with a 15-0 record. Dave McNally reached the mark in 1969 with the Orioles, but Cleveland's Johnny Allen was the first to do so in '37. First, Scherzer has to pick up his third win of the season against AL Central-rival Cleveland.
"It's hard to believe, to be honest with you, that somebody is 13-0 in this day and age," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said, "but he is, and we'll take it. We'll accept it and be happy for him, and hopefully he goes 14-0."
Scherzer has compiled nine consecutive quality starts, a streak he started against the Tribe on May 21, when he allowed one run on two hits in eight innings. He's also recorded at least six strikeouts in each of his 17 starts, the longest stretch to begin a season since Pedro Martinez had a 29-game streak in 2000.
"I don't judge my season based on 13-0," Scherzer said. "I judge my season based on how I pitch. I thought I've pitched this season very well. I'm doing a lot of things right, generating swings and misses, minimizing walks, pitching with four pitches. And when I do that, I'm going to be successful."
The Indians are hoping to salvage a split in the series after Sunday's 9-6 win, sending left-hander Scott Kazmir to the mound. He's 4-0 with a 4.26 ERA at Progressive Field this season.
"I'm feeling comfortable where I'm at right now," Kazmir said after a recent start. "There's still a lot to work on, but I feel like my delivery is getting a lot more consistent, that's for sure."
Indians: Guilmet gets first call to Majors
• The Indians called up Preston Guilmet from Triple-A Columbus to provide some depth for their bullpen.
Guilmet recorded 16 saves with a 2.32 ERA and 50 strikeouts in 34 appearances at Columbus this season, but has never pitched in the Majors.
"Just excited to be here," Guilmet said. "Can't wait to help the club out [the] best I can. Really just happy to be here, been working a long time for this. It's cool to finally get to this level and see how things go down the road."
To make room for Guilmet, a ninth-round Draft pick in 2009, the Tribe designated Carlos Carrasco for assignment and transferred injured catcher Lou Marson to the 60-day disabled list. Carrasco gave up seven runs in 3 1/3 innings against the Tigers on Saturday and is expected to be optioned to Triple-A.
• Zach McAllister said he wasn't concerned about his finger Saturday, when he tested out his breaking ball for the first time, throwing on flat ground.
McAllister was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained right middle finger on June 8 and plans on mixing in his breaking ball -- the pitch that causes the most pain with his finger -- during his scheduled simulated game Monday.
Tigers: Downs placed on DL
• Left-handed reliever Darin Downs reported some soreness in his shoulder after pitching the ninth inning of Saturday's game, and it proved serious enough for the Tigers to place him on the 15-day disabled list with left rotator cuff tendinitis.
Right-hander Evan Reed was recalled from Triple-A Toledo to fill Downs' spot in the bullpen. Downs allowed eight earned runs in his last 6 1/3 innings pitched.
• The six Tigers players named to the AL All-Star roster weren't the only ones in the organization to hear they are heading to New York for All-Star weekend. Double-A Erie catcher James McCann was added to the U.S. roster as a replacement for the Sirius XM All-Star Futures Game.
McCann will join Triple-A Toledo first baseman Jordan Lennerton as Tigers representatives. McCann, who was Detroit's top pick in the 2011 Draft, has thrown out 49 of 113 would-be basestealers for a 43 percent caught-stealing rate to go along with a .288 batting average and a .703 OPS.
McCann replaces White Sox catcher Josh Phegley, who was promoted to the big leagues on Friday.
• Miguel Cabrera has nine hits in five games at Progressive Field this season, and four of them are home runs.
• Torii Hunter is batting .522 (12-for-23) with five runs scored, two homers and 11 RBIs in his past five games.