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C Alex Avila (concussion), who is on a rehab stint with Triple-A Toledo, was lifted after just three innings Thursday because of a headache. Avila sat out Friday's game but may serve as the designated hitter on Saturday for Toledo. Avila was placed on the seven-day concussion disabled list on Aug. 11, three days after he was hit in the face mask by a foul ball. Avila initially passed all the concussion tests and returned to the Tigers' lineup on Aug. 10, but the symptoms returned and he has not played since. Avila is hitting .198 with nine homers and 36 RBIs in 253 at-bats this season for the Tigers.
RHP Doug Fister pitched out of trouble all night Friday and earned his first win since Aug. 2 by allowing one run over 6 1/3 innings in the Tigers' 6-1 victory over the Mets. Fister surrendered eight hits and two walks while striking out four. He had just one 1-2-3 inning (the third) but stranded five runners in the first six innings and benefited from an inning-ending 5-4-3 double play with runners at the corners in the sixth. After exiting with two runners on in the seventh, Fister watched as Drew Smyly stranded the pair. Fister is 11-6 with a 3.54 ERA in 26 starts.
3B Miguel Cabrera continued his assault on major league pitching Friday night, when he went 2-for-4 with a three-run homer in the Tigers' 6-1 win over the Mets. Cabrera singled on the first pitch he saw from Daisuke Matsuzaka in the first inning and launched a mammoth three-run homer on the first pitch he saw in his at-bat in the second inning. Cabrera lengthened his American League lead in both batting average (.356) and RBIs (126), while his 41st homer of the season put him within five of the Orioles' Chris Davis. Cabrera is trying to become the first player in history to win the Triple Crown in consecutive seasons. The three-RBI game was the 19th of the season for Cabrera, which leaves him just four shy of tying Hank Greenberg's team record for the most three-RBI games in a single season.
RF Torii Hunter went 2-for-5 with a solo homer, an RBI double and two runs scored in the Tigers' 6-1 win over the Mets on Friday night. Hunter opened the scoring with a solo homer in the second and delivered a ground-rule double in the second inning to extend the Tigers' lead to 2-1 the pitch before Miguel Cabrera hit a three-run homer. It was the sixth multi-hit effort in 20 games this month for Hunter, who is hitting .306 with 14 homers and 66 RBIs. His batting average has been at or above .300 every day since July 2.
DH Victor Martinez made his first start at catcher Friday since Aug. 4, 2011, and played seven innings behind the plate in the Tigers' 6-1 win over the Mets. Martinez was 0-for-3 with a walk at the plate before he was lifted for pinch-runner Bryan Holaday in the eighth inning. The Mets were 1-for-1 in stolen base attempts against Martinez. Eric Young led off with a single for the Mets and successfully swiped second on the next pitch. Martinez was a full-time catcher for most of his first nine seasons in the bigs before signing with the Tigers to serve as their primary designated hitter prior to the 2011 season. He made 26 starts at catcher in 2011 and missed all of 2012 due to a knee injury. Martinez has made 112 starts at designated hitter and 10 starts at first base this year.
RHP Max Scherzer will be a part of history Saturday afternoon, when he takes the mound for the Tigers in the middle game of a three-game series against the Mets at Citi Field. Scherzer, who started the All-Star Game for the American League, will be opposed by National League starter Matt Harvey. It is the first time that the starting pitchers in the All-Star Game faced each other in a regular season game in the same season. Scherzer threw a scoreless first inning and didn't factor into the decision in the American League's 3-0 win on July 16. Scherzer will also be looking to continue his historic season on Saturday. In earning the win in his last start on Sunday -- when he allowed two runs on five hits and no walks while striking out four over eight innings in the Tigers' 6-3 victory over the Royals -- Scherzer improved to 18-1. He is the first pitcher to win 18 of his first 19 decisions since Roger Clemens did it for the Yankees in 2001. Clemens was also the last pitcher to open 19-1. Since suffering his lone loss in his final start before the All-Star Break, Scherzer is 5-0 with a 1.69 ERA in six second half starts. Entering play Friday, Scherzer led the AL in wins and WHIP (0.90) while ranking second in strikeouts (185). Scherzer is 1-0 with a 4.26 ERA in three games (two starts) against the Mets all of which occurred while he was pitching for the Diamondbacks in 2008 and 2009. In his most recent outing against the Mets, Scherzer earned the win for the Diamondbacks by allowing two runs over 6 2/3 innings in Arizona's 6-2 win at Citi Field on Aug. 11, 2009.