Originally posted on Fox Sports Detroit  |  Last updated 7/13/13
DETROIT Detroit Tigers right-hander Max Scherzers flirtation with perfection came to an end Saturday night in a 7-1 loss to the Texas Rangers. Afterward, Scherzer was asked if there wasnt some relief experienced over ending all the questions he had to field as he kept winning and the record reached 13-0. It was fun, Scherzer said with a wide smile. Are you kidding me? There was no way Scherzer found talking about perfection to be a drag. He emphasized that it wasnt personal pride, but the feeling of team accomplishment he experienced by avoiding a blemish on his record until July 13. Nobody had won more games without a loss since Roger Clemens began 1986 with a 14-0 mark for the Boston Red Sox. Scherzer had not left a game trailing in 18 previous starts this season, but exited after six innings with a 4-1 deficit. He received polite applause from many of the 44,061 in the sellout crowd at Comerica Park. When you are perfect, said Tigers right fielder Torii Hunter, you just ride the bike until the wheels fall off. Or, until somebody out-pitches you, as Derek Holland did in seven sharp innings during which Tigers hitters could not stop chasing his sharp-dropping slider. Or, until somebody lines one off your left wrist, which Jurickson Profar did for the third out of the second inning. The Rangers rookie hit a ball that went just under Scherzers right arm as he was following through, missing it by inches, and struck the bone on his left wrist. Scherzer recovered to pick up the ball and throw him out, but wasnt quite the same after that. He said trainers were rubbing the ice on top of it after that inning and the next one. Scherzer said that kept the swelling down. It did take a toll on me, he admitted. It hurt to squeeze the left hand, but the problem came in his front side mechanics and pulling his glove arm through the end of his motion. You never realize how much you use your glove to pull through with your body, Scherzer said. He said x-rays were negative, and wasnt icing the wrist when he showed it to reporters. It had turned red with mild abrasions. When asked if the injury could affect his next start, Scherzer said, I cant imagine (it would). He kept it scoreless through three innings, but in the fourth inning gave up a two-run homer to Mitch Moreland. Nelson Cruz doubled and scored before that on a sacrifice fly. A.J. Pierzynskis opposite-field double scored another run for Texas in the fifth. "I ran into a good team, said Scherzer. They swung the bats well. I threw some good pitches, they hit it. I threw some bad pitches, they hit it even farther. That's what happens when you're not quite 100 percent on your game." Tigers manager Jim Leyland noted that Scherzer was pretty painful when he came off the mound, but added, I thought he was a little flat. Scherzer, now 13-1, left after throwing a season-high 122 pitches. He did strike out six to run his streak of at least six strikeouts to 19 games a stretch unsurpassed since Pedro Martinez set the record with 29 in 2000. Scherzer entered the game leading the American League with 7.6 runs of support per nine innings, but Detroit barely avoided a shutout with rookie second baseman Hernan Perezs two-out, run-scoring single in the fourth inning. He still gave us a chance to win, Hunter said. Tonight, we failed him. Two blue and orange American League All-Star team jerseys with his No. 37 hung from his locker, and they brought a smile to his face. Thatll be fun, Scherzer said. Thatll be a blast. Its my first oneI cant wait to go to New York. Leyland will name the starter at a Monday press conference in New York. Scherzer was asked what getting that call would mean to him. Itd mean a lot, he said. I know how many great pitchers there are in the game. If I get the nod over those guys, its a real great moment. Scherzer is tied for the most wins in the American League with Tampa Bay Rays starter Matt Moore, and his 152 strikeouts are just five off the pace of league-leader Yu Darvish, who is on the 15-day disabled list for the Rangers. His 3.19 ERA also is among the leaders. Im doing a lot of things right, Scherzer said. Hopefully, that can continue in the second half.
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