Scherzer racks up 14 Ks in return to big leagues

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scherzer watching homer.jpgThe Tigers made the right move in demoting Max Scherzer to Triple-A Toledo two weeks ago after he rattled off a 1-4 record, a 7.29 ERA and a 1.67 WHIP through his first eight starts in a Detroit uniform.  And it will really seem like the right move now.

Scherzer, 25, allowed just one run over two starts during his time with the Toledo Mud Hens and tallied a 17/2 K/BB ratio in 15 innings.  He was called back to the big leagues on Sunday morning and just completed 5 2/3 innings of scoreless ball against the A’s, striking out a career-high 14.  The Tigers won 10-2 and Scherzer allowed only two hits.

Scherzer is a talented kid and should be an asset to the Tigers’ staff for many years to come.  He simply struggled with his confidence through the first six weeks of the regular season and had a hard time adjusting to life in the American League, where pitchers are forced to face an extra highly-paid slugger — the DH. 

The fact is he posted a 4.12 ERA and a 174/63 K/BB ratio in 170 1/3 innings for the Diamondbacks last season and is plenty capable of replicating those kind of numbers in the AL Central.

Video: J.D. Martinez hits league-tying 23rd home run

Seattle Mariners v Boston Red Sox
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The Red Sox and Mariners left nothing on the table Friday night, going head-to-head in a series opener that eventually ended 14-10 in the Sox’ favor. Led by Steven Wright and Wade LeBlanc — neither of whom made it past the fifth inning — the teams combined for 34 hits and four home runs, including two moonshots from Seattle’s Nelson Cruz and a five-run rally that gave Boston the edge in the seventh.

In the sixth inning, however, the Red Sox were still scrambling to make up a four-run deficit. Left fielder J.D. Martinez cut it in half with one swing, pouncing on an 89.5-mph fastball from Seattle right-hander Nick Vincent and posting it to dead center field for a two-run shot.

The 427-foot blast was Martinez’s 23rd of the season, tying Mike Trout for the most home runs in the league this year. While he still has a ways to go before eclipsing the career-best 45-HR mark he set in 2017, he’s off to a strong start this season: Entering Friday’s game, the 30-year-old slugger was batting .315/.386/.623 with a 1.009 OPS and AL-leading 55 RBI in 308 PA. He finished Friday’s game 4-for-5 with five RBI, just one triple shy of hitting for the cycle.

Heading into the All-Star Break, both Martinez and Trout still have some competition for the home run title. Jose Ramirez is sitting at 22 homers, while Nelson Cruz and Khris Davis are tied at 20 apiece.