(SportsNetwork.com) - It'll be a battle of the aces Saturday when the Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers clash at Comerica Park.
Lefty Jon Lester will take the mound for the Red Sox, and the Tigers will counter with the dangerous righty Max Scherzer.
Lester is coming off one of his best starts on the season, as he tossed seven scoreless innings in a 4-0 win against the Rays in Boston. The four-hit, 12- strikeout effort on Lester's part helped the veteran left-hander drop his earned run average down from 3.45 to 3.15 on the season.
Lester (6-6) has fanned 95 batters already this season and has notched a decision in all 12 of his starts. Against the Tigers, the 30-year-old has made eight career starts with a 2-3 record and a 4.35 ERA, which is below his career mark of 3.73.
"Going against a guy like Max, you know what you're going to get," Lester said. "You try and go out there and battle."
After winning six straight games, Scherzer has cooled down in his last three outings, and now sits on a 6-2 record with a 3.20 ERA. On Sunday, the 29-year- old picked up his first loss since April 13 when he allowed four runs to Seattle in a 4-0 Mariners victory. In 6 2/3 innings, Scherzer gave up nine hits, four earned runs and a homer, but still managed to strike out seven batters.
His career mark versus Boston isn't spectacular. In nine starts, Scherzer has gone 3-4 against the Sox with a 6.14 ERA in 48 1/3 innings. However his most recent start against Boston yielded six shutout innings, three hits and seven strikeouts in a Tigers win.
In the first game of the three-game set Friday night, the Red Sox trotted out Rubby De La Rosa, who came out with a strong season debut against Tampa Bay last Saturday.
It wasn't as rosy for Rubby Friday night in Detroit. De La Rosa was credited with the loss in a 6-2 Tigers victory after giving up nine hits and four earned runs over 5 2/3 innings.
Picking up the win for the Tigers was Drew Smyly, who tossed six innings of five-hit ball and surrendered two runs, but just one earned. He improved to 3-4 on the year.
Xander Bogaerts gave the Red Sox a quick lead in the top of the first inning, but it was downhill from there for Boston, as the Tigers knotted things up at one apiece in the third frame.
Ian Kinsler and Torii Hunter hit back-to-back solo home runs in the fifth inning, and Victor Martinez joined the party with a solo shot in the eighth. Joe Nathan entered the game in the top of the ninth inning and retired three of four batters faced to shut the door on game one of the series.
"This was a good night for everyone," Smyly said after the game.
Detroit ended a five-game losing streak, while Boston has now lost four in a row.