Max Scherzer attempts to become the American League's first 14-game winner on Thursday afternoon, when the host Detroit Tigers close a string of four consecutive games against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Scherzer has followed up his Cy Young Award-winning season (21-3, 2.90 ERA) with another strong campaign and is 50-14 since the beginning of 2012. Detroit defeated Pittsburgh 8-4 on Wednesday to halt a four-game slide and remains one-half game behind first-place Kansas City in the American League Central.Pittsburgh stands 1 1/2 games behind Milwaukee for first in the National League Central and holds the NL's top wild-card spot. Travis Snider hit a two-run homer in Wednesday's game and he is one of the outfielders who will see more action while Andrew McCutchen (rib) is on the disabled list. Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez had three hits and three RBIs to raise his average to .323.TV: 1:08 p.m. ET, ROOT (Pittsburgh), FSN DetroitPITCHING MATCHUP: Pirates LH Francisco Liriano (3-8, 3.82 ERA) vs. Tigers RH Max Scherzer (13-4, 3.13)Liriano lost to San Diego in his last outing despite giving up just two runs and three hits over seven innings. He has allowed just six earned runs in 32 frames over his last five turns. Liriano is 5-8 with a 5.99 ERA in 24 career appearances (17 starts) against the Tigers.Scherzer was superb in his last outing but ended up with a no-decision against Toronto. He allowed one run and four hits in eight innings and struck out 11 while walking none. Scherzer is 2-2 with a 3.78 ERA in six career appearances (five starts) against the Pirates.WALK-OFFS 1. Detroit 1B Miguel Cabrera has failed to homer in 11 consecutive games.2. Pittsburgh C Russell Martin has an 11-game hitting streak and reached 1,000 career hits on Wednesday.3. Martinez is 13-for-27 with a homer and six doubles against Liriano, while Cabrera is 9-for-29 with two homers and three doubles.PREDICTION: Tigers 6, Pirates 1
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