Scherzer lights-out in first Triple-A start

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scherzer headshot.jpgMax Scherzer was optioned to Triple-A Toledo last weekend after opening the season with a 1-4 record, a 7.29 ERA and a 1.67 WHIP through his first eight starts.  The demotion was understandable, given the Tigers’ presence near the top of the AL Central standings, but it looks like he won’t be in the minors for long.

According to Tom Gage of the Detroit News, Scherzer, 25, fired eight shutout innings Thursday in his first start for the Toledo MudHens, fanning 10 batters and allowing just one hit.  He threw 67 of his 103 pitches for strikes and topped out at 97 MPH with his fastball.

The Tigers obviously won’t rush Scherzer back because of the way he pitched over the regular season’s first six weeks.  But one or two more starts like tonight’s and he’ll be right back in Detroit.

Kenley Jansen’s consecutive saves streak ends at 34

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Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen gave up three runs in the top of the ninth inning during Sunday’s game against the Braves, blowing his first save since August 26 last season. He had converted 34 consecutive saves.

Jansen yielded back-to-back singles to lead off the ninth inning, staked to a 4-1 lead. After getting two outs, Matt Adams hit a three-run home run down the right field line to knot the game at four apiece.

After Sunday’s lackluster performance, Jansen is now 24-for-25 in save chances this season with a 1.49 ERA and a 62/2 K/BB ratio in 42 1/3 innings.

Zach Britton sets American League record with 55th consecutive save

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Orioles closer Zach Britton finished Sunday’s 9-7 victory over the Astros with a scoreless ninth inning, earning his sixth save of the season. He has now earned the save in 55 consecutive opportunities dating back to September 2015, setting a new American League record. Tom Gordon previously held the record with 54 consecutive saves. Eric Gagne holds the major league record at 84.

Britton’s last blown save came on September 20, 2015, then converted two more saves before the end of the regular season. He went 47-for-47 in save chances last season and is six-for-six so far this year.

Along with his six saves, Britton has a 2.65 ERA and a 13/8 K/BB ratio in 17 innings this season. The lefty came off the disabled list earlier this month after missing two months with a strained left forearm.