Max Scherzer loses for the first time in 2013

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Tigers starter Max Scherzer entered his final start of the first half a sterling 13-0 with a 3.06 ERA. With a victory over the Rangers tonight, he could have improved to 14-0, matching Roger Clemens’ historic start in 1986. The Rangers, however, had other ideas.

Scherzer allowed three runs in the top of the third on an A.J. Pierzynski sacrifice fly and a Mitch Moreland two-run home run. After the Tigers eked out a run in the bottom of the fourth on a Hernan Perez RBI single, Pierzynski got it back with an RBI double in the top of the fifth. Scherzer lasted six innings, allowing eight hits and walking two while striking out six. He is now 13-1 with a 3.19 ERA, still quite good.

The Rangers added three more runs in the top of the ninth against Al Albuquerque as Nelson Cruz hit an RBI single and Adrian Beltre hit a two-run home run.Rangers starter Derek Holland on point, surrendering one run over seven innings. Joaquin Soria pitched a scoreless eighth and Neal Cotts pitched a scoreless ninth to nail down the 7-1 victory.

 

Giants nearing deal with Cameron Maybin

Cameron Maybin
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The Giants are finalizing a minor league deal for free agent outfielder Cameron Maybin, according to Andrew Baggarly and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The team has not confirmed the signing, but it’s in keeping with their stated goal of adding more veteran presence and outfield options to their roster in advance of the 2019 season.

Maybin, 31, appeared in back-to-back gigs with the Marlins and Mariners in 2018. He slashed an underwhelming .249/.326/.336 with four home runs, 10 stolen bases (in 15 chances), a .662 OPS, and 0.5 fWAR through 384 plate appearances for the two clubs, a clear improvement over his totals in 2017 but still shy of the career numbers he posted with the Padres all the way back in 2011. It’s not only his offense that has tanked, but his speed and defense in center field, all of which he’ll try to improve as he jockeys for a roster spot in camp this month.

The Giants’ outfield has been largely depleted of any kind of consistent talent lately, especially taking into account the recent departures of Hunter Pence, Gregor Blanco, and Gorkys Hernández. Even with the acquisition of, say, All-Star right fielder Bryce Harper, there’s nothing standing in the way of Maybin and fellow veteran signee Gerardo Parra grabbing hold of full- or part-time roles this year, though they’ll need to outperform candidates like Chris Shaw, Steven Duggar, Drew Ferguson, Mac Williamson, Austin Slater, Craig Gentry, Mike Gerber, and others first.

In a previous report on Friday, Baggarly revealed that a “handshake understanding” had been established with several veteran players already this offseason, all but guaranteeing them regular starting opportunities over the course of the season. How those agreements will be affected by spring training performances remains to be seen, but at least for now, the Giants appear prepared to give their newest players a long leash as they try to get back on top in the NL West.