DETROIT — Max Scherzer has shrugged off the significance of his undefeated start, saying records are fluky statistics for pitchers and that he’s simply playing for a good team.
When the Detroit Tigers right-hander found out he is the first to accomplish a couple feats since Rogers Clemens and Pedro Martinez, though, it knocked Scherzer off his humble script.
“That tickles me when you say those type of names,” he said.
Scherzer pitched Detroit past Baltimore 5-1 Monday night, becoming the first pitcher to begin a season 10-0 — with all decisions coming in starts — since Clemens was 11-0 for Toronto in 1997, according to STATS.
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The best start in the Tigers’ long history came in 1909, when George Mullin was 11-0, including one victory as a reliever.
Scherzer is also the first to have at least six strikeouts in his first 14 starts in a season since Martinez did it for the Red Sox in 2001, STATS said.
“He’s at the top of his game pretty much,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said.
Scherzer allowed one run and seven hits in six innings. Chris Davis hit his major league-leading 24th homer in the second, but struck out with the bases loaded in the fifth and the Orioles down by two runs.
“He was just coming after me,” Davis said. “Of course, when you’re throwing 96, 97, 98, that helps.”
Scherzer’s outing ended after he finished the sixth inning with two strikeouts, giving him at least 10 in a game for the fifth time this year. He lowered his earned-run average to 3.08.
• RHP Carlos Carrasco, pitching for the first time since serving a suspension for throwing at the Yankees’ Kevin Youkilis, allowed only four hits in 71
3 innings in Cleveland’s 2-1 loss to Kansas City.
• Don Mattingly, who played his entire 14-year career in the majors with the Yankees, returns to New York as manager of the Dodgers Tuesday. The Dodgers have not played the Yankees in New York since the 1981 World Series.
• Nationals OF Bryce Harper was cleared to begin strength work on his injured left knee.
• Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said he’s “leaning” toward placing slumping 1B Mark Teixeira on the disabled list because of his ailing right wrist. Teixeira is hitting .151.