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Tigers At Indians: Tigers Try To End Three-Game Slide In Cleveland

(Sports Network) - Count Tigers starter Max Scherzer as one of those who will be sad to see the month of April go.

The Detroit hurler will try to pick up his fifth victory this month and end the Cleveland Indians' 10-game home winning streak when the clubs begin a three-game series Friday at Progressive Field.

Scherzer is a perfect 4-0 with a 3.19 earned run average through five starts, striking out 30 in 31 innings while becoming the first Tigers hurler to win his first four decisions in April since David Wells in 1993. The right- hander's current win streak is also the longest to start a season since Jeremy Bonderman began the 2007 campaign with eight straight winning decisions.

Scherzer picked up his second straight win on Sunday versus the White Sox, hurling eight scoreless innings while working around four hits and three walks. He also struck out seven for a third straight start.

"My command later in the game really came together," Scherzer told Detroit's website. "Early in the game, it wasn't fully there with my fastball, but I was able to get by because I was still able to throw my offspeed stuff for strikes, keep them off balance. And once I started getting fastball command, that's when I started having good stuff."

The 26-year-old went 1-3 with a 5.73 ERA in four starts versus the Indians last year, dropping all three games at Progressive Field. He'll need to make adjustments tonight at Cleveland's home field, where the Indians haven't lost since beginning the season with back-to-back setbacks to the White Sox on April 1-2. They have also won their last eight at home versus the Tigers.

Cleveland extended its current home winning streak with a three-game sweep of Kansas City, polishing off the set with an 8-2 win on Thursday. After dropping three in a row prior to the series, the Indians plated 24 runs versus the Royals and got solo homers from Grady SizemoreShin-Soo ChooCarlos Santana and Shelley Duncan last night.

The victory put Cleveland 4 1/2 games up on both Kansas City and Detroit for first place in the American League Central.

"Taking it day-by-day, that's all we're doing," Duncan said. "We're not looking at series sweeps, we're not looking at what month it is, we're not looking at who we're playing next."

Up next is the Tigers, who were outscored 24-6 while getting swept in three games by the Mariners. Detroit had won four in a row before hosting Seattle and has now matched its longest losing streak of the season.

"We just didn't play good enough," said Tigers manager Jim Leyland after his club dropped a 7-2 decision on Thursday.

Alex Avila staked his team to an early lead with a two-run double in the second inning, but starter Brad Pennygave up four runs over seven innings of work to take the loss.

Brennan Boesch had two of Detroit's five hits and has hit safely in nine straight games. He is batting .467 (14-for-30) in that span.

Hoping to keep the Tigers' offense in check again this evening will be Jeanmar Gomez, who will take the mound for the third time this year and for the second time as a starter.

The 23-year-old right-hander took a loss in Kansas City on April 19 in his first start of the year, giving up five runs over 4 1/3 innings, and then relieved injured starter Carlos Carrasco last Sunday at Minnesota. Gomez pitched three innings of one-run ball and did not factor into the decision of his team's 4-3 loss.

Two of Gomez's 12 career starts have come versus the Tigers and he is 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA in that span.

Though these clubs split 18 meetings last year, the Indians won eight of the nine played at Progressive Field.