Tigers starter Max Scherzer, who is 11-0 with a 3.05 ERA this season, will face the Rays tonight. Scherzer held Tampa Bay to one run on four hits and struck out nine in a 5-2 Detroit victory in the teams' previous series. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: June 27, 2013
Updated: June 28, 2013 at 06:18 AM
ST. PETERSBURG - After losing two of three in Detroit earlier this month, the Rays marveled at how well the Tigers starters pitched during the series and noted that they didn't face RHP Justin Verlander.
Well, the Rays will see Verlander this time around. The 2011 American League Cy Young Award winner is scheduled to pitch Saturday night at Tropicana Field.
First, the Rays get Max Scherzer, who is 11-0 in 15 starts.
Despite the firepower in the Tigers' offense with Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder, it is the Tigers' pitching that caused the Rays the most trouble.
"It's the way they pitch us," manager Joe Maddon said. "We've actually pitched against them very well overall, but they've actually pitched us tough."
The Rays scored six runs in the three games at Detroit. Scherzer and RHP Anibal Sanchez, who is on the disabled list, both held the Rays to a run in their starts during the series. RHP Doug Fister, who will not face the Rays this time, threw eight shutout innings before surrendering three runs in the ninth during his start.
"That's been our difficulty versus them over the last couple of years," Maddon said. "We have not scored many runs."
LHP David Price (strained left triceps) tweeted Thursday that he "woke up feeling like Tony the Tiger ... you all know what that means!!"
Price, who threw 72 pitches in five innings Wednesday night for Class A Charlotte, said afterward he is ready to rejoin the rotation.
Pitching coach Jim Hickey, during an interview Thursday morning on 620 AM, said he wouldn't be surprised if Price was activated in time for next week's series in Houston. Hickey said the Rays will make that decision today after Price throws a bullpen session.
Price will be able to make three starts before the All-Star break should he return for the series against the Astros.
RHP Alex Colome, who will head back to Triple-A when Price is activated, faces the Tigers tonight in his third big-league start. The rookie has yet to allow an earned run.
Colome said he is excited to face the Tigers lineup because it presents him with another chance to show the Rays what he can do at the big-league level.
"It's a hard team. I think it's one of best lineups in the big leagues," he said. "But it's a good time for everybody to know what I can do."
Saturday night's game will be televised on Fox and begins at 7:15 p.m. . The Rays' bullpen has worked a major league-high 1041?3 innings during the past 30 games. The bullpen's 2.42 ERA during that stretch has dropped its ERA for the season from a major league-worst 4.69 to 3.85.