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Max Scherzer will try to become the first pitcher in 27 years to start 14-0 when the Detroit Tigers go for a four-game series victory against the host Cleveland Indians on Monday. Scherzer, who has already defeated the Indians twice this season, has his sights set on matching Roger Clemens' start in 1986 while giving the Tigers more cushion in the American League Central. Cleveland prevailed 9-6 on Sunday to snap a seven-game losing streak to Detroit and move withing 2 1/2 games of the Tigers.
The Indians, who had lost their previous four games, blew a 6-1 lead Sunday before Michael Brantley hit his second homer - a two-run shot to break a 6-6 tie in the eighth inning - to finish with a career-high five RBIs. The Indians will need another strong start out of Scott Kazmir, who is 1-0 with a 1.89 ERA in his last three starts. Detroit, which had its five-game winning streak snapped, has averaged 7.7 runs in its last six games.
TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, Fox Sports Detroit, SportsTime Ohio (Cleveland)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Tigers RH Max Scherzer (13-0, 3.09 ERA) vs. Indians LH Scott Kazmir (4-4, 4.86)
Scherzer allowed two runs, seven hits and struck out eight in 6 1/3 innings in a 6-2 victory at Toronto on Wednesday. The 28-year-old St. Louis native, who has struck out 139 and allowed 81 hits in 116 2/3 innings, yielded five runs in 16 innings while striking out 14 in his two appearances against the Indians in 2013. All-Star second baseman Jason Kipnis is 3-for-17 and Carlos Santana is 3-for-25 against Scherzer, who is 5-0 with a 2.16 ERA and 0.75 WHIP on the road.
Kazmir did not receive a decision in his second straight start after yielding three runs and six hits in five innings in a 6-5 loss at Kansas City on Wednesday. The 29-year-old Houston native is 4-4 with a 3.79 ERA in 11 starts against the Tigers, but hasn't faced them since 2010, when he beat them twice. Tigers second baseman Ramon Santiago is 3-for-5 with two solo home runs against Kazmir, who has yielded a .344 batting average to the Tigers' roster.
1. Scherzer has won 19 of his last 20 decisions, with the loss coming Sept. 23 against Minnesota - a 10-4 setback when he allowed three runs in five innings.
2. Cabrera, who entered Sunday with 121 hits - the most by a Tiger after 86 games since Al Kaline recorded 128 in 1955, had four hits Sunday. His 28th home run tied Cecil Fielder (1990) for the most by a Tiger prior to the All-Star break.
3. Cabrera, who leads the major leagues with 90 RBIs after driving in a pair Sunday, has five home runs and 14 RBIs in 11 games against the Indians this season.
PREDICTION: Tigers 3, Indians 2