Scherzer eyes 20th win in opener with White Sox

9:50 AM, Sep 20, 2013   |    comments
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(Sports Network) - Max Scherzer says he doesn't care if he wins another game this season as long as the Detroit Tigers are playing postseason baseball.

The right-hander takes a fifth crack at his 20th victory of the season on Friday night when the Tigers host the Chicago White Sox looking to reduce their magic number to clinch the AL Central.

The Tigers come into this three-game set six games up on the second-place Cleveland Indians in the division, with Thursday's 5-4 win over Seattle on lowering their magic number to four to claim a third straight division crown.

This series will mark Detroit's final chance to clinch the division at home. The Tigers wrap a 10-game residency, their last of the regular season, this weekend and are 5-2 so far on the stay.

The Major League leader in wins, Scherzer is 19-3 with a 2.95 earned run average in 30 starts this season, but 0-2 with a 4.70 ERA in four outings since winning his 19th game.

The 29-year-old appeared in line to hit the 20-win mark on Sunday versus the Kansas City Royals, giving up a run on five hits over seven innings while striking out a season high-tying 12. However, he ended up not factoring into a 3-2 win, not that it bothered the hurler.

"I'm not sitting here chasing personal stuff down, I'm trying to win for the team," Scherzer told Detroit's website. "This is all about trying to get us into the postseason. I don't care if I win another game. If we win our division, that's all that matters."

Scherzer, who surpassed 200 innings in a season for the first time, is 7-5 with a 2.58 ERA lifetime versus the White Sox in 17 starts and faces them for the fifth time in 2013. His no-decision versus the Royals came six days after a setback to Chicago in which he was touched for four earned runs over four innings.

Scherzer is unlikely to have shortstop Jose Iglesias behind him tonight after the 23-year-old was hit by a pitch on the left hand on Thursday. Detroit did catch a break when an X-ray showed no break and Iglesias is considered day-to- day with a left hand contusion.

Iglesias is hitting .276 in 42 games since being acquired from Boston in a three-team trade on July 30 to take over at shortstop for the suspended Jhonny Peralta.

The White Sox were also part of that deal, sending starter Jake Peavy to the Red Sox and getting highly-regarded prospect Avisail Garcia from the Tigers. Garcia has hit .300 in 32 games since the trade with a pair of homers and 13 RBI.

Garcia has missed Chicago's last four games after his wife gave birth to the couple's first child on Monday.

The White Sox are coming off a 3-7 homestand, but took two of three from Minnesota in the final series of the stand. They were denied a sweep with Wednesday's 4-3 loss.

Andre Rienzo looks to play spoiler tonight against Detroit and is 2-2 with a 5.04 ERA in nine starts this season.

The Brazilian right-hander has yielded five earned runs in three of his last four starts, including Saturday in a loss to Cleveland. He followed up his second career win by yielding seven hits and walking four over four innings.

Rienzo, 25, made his second career start on Aug. 4 and it came in Detroit. He did not factor into a 3-2 loss, yielding two runs over six-plus innings.

The Tigers are 10-6 versus the White Sox this season, winning four of six in Detroit.

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