While it's been a magical season for Max Scherzer, the Tigers right-hander is realizing how hard it can be to keep an edge over division opponents.
Just facing the White Sox lineup on July 22, Scherzer (15-1, 3.01 ERA) will quickly take the mound against them again on Saturday at Comerica Park.
In that outing, he allowed two runs on four hits in eight innings of work for the win. He also struck out four.
"You can tell they have an approach to try to get me. They're really trying to figure me out, be aggressive with me," Scherzer said. "It's probably because of the times I've pitched against them in the past. This is the Major Leagues. This is a team that's faced me for four years now. Now I'm facing a guy maybe 30 times. Now how do you get him out the 31st time? That's the million-dollar question."
While getting hitters out on a consistent basis can be difficult, he thinks of it as a fun challenge.
"I respect what they can do. I never take them for granted," Scherzer said. "I know their lineup is very capable of producing runs. I have to come up with a plan and execute pitches for a full start."
Meanwhile, left-hander John Danks will be on the hill for the White Sox as he continues his comeback from season-ending arthroscopic shoulder surgery last August.
Danks has managed to hold his own in a year full of ups and downs. In 13 starts this season, the left-hander is 2-8 with a 4.57 ERA.
"They have kind of told me that the year is a work in progress. I'm going to need a full year of throwing and getting back out there to, I guess, regain all the strength and get it back to where it needs to be," Danks said. "I'm pleased I'm able to go out there every fifth day and throw and do my throwing in between starts. Nothing hurts. It feels good.
"That's a small victory. Certainly I'm not going out there just to get my work in. I'm trying to win ballgames and unfortunately haven't done that."
A loser in three of his last five starts, Danks took the no-decision in his previous outing against the Indians, allowing one earned run on two hits in six innings of work.
White Sox: Ramirez's power numbers falling
• During his first four Major League seasons, Alexi Ramirez hit 69 total home runs with a single-season high of 21 as a rookie in 2008.
However, those numbers have dipped the last two seasons. He hit only nine in 2012 and has hit just one long ball this season, which came on April 3 -- the second game of the season.
After Friday's game against the Tigers, Ramirez has now gone 105 games and 427 at-bats without a home run.
"I have been working as hard as I always have and things haven't come out the way I want them to," said Ramirez through translator and White Sox coach Lino Diaz. "I really don't have an explanation to say why the numbers are down. My swing is the same. I've been hitting in a spot where I need to get more on base and I need to be a little bit in control of my at-bats and moving the runner or hitting behind the runner. Things like that. It's a little bit different."
Tigers: Cabrera scratched
• Detroit third baseman Miguel Cabrera was scratched from Friday night's starting lineup against the White Sox after taking ground balls during batting practice prior to the game.
Newly acquired infielder Jose Iglesias filled in for Cabrera at third base after making 33 starts at the hot corner with the Red Sox this season. Ramon Santiago slid into second, which had been filled by Iglesias in manager Jim Leyland's initial lineup. Left fielder Matt Tuiasosopo hit third in Cabrera's place.
Dealing with a left abdominal strain for the past week, Cabrera was held out of Wednesday's game due to the injury. He aggravated the injury on a slow ground ball in Tuesday's game and left in the eighth inning.
• In his debut with the Tigers, Iglesias went 1-for-3 with an RBI.
• While Danks has walked just 13 batters in 82 2/3 innings this year, he's surrendered 17 home runs in 13 starts.
Quinn Roberts is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.