Max Scherzer was one turn in the Dodgers' rotation away from facing his reigning Cy Young Award winning counterpart. And while Clayton Kershaw won't pitch again until Thursday, Scherzer and the Tigers will still face a starter with one of those awards on his shelf.
Zack Greinke will take the ball for the Dodgers as they try to split a quick two-game set on Wednesday in Detroit. Scherzer and Greinke are both All-Stars this season and will have their final chances to build on already strong first halves.
Scherzer has posted three consecutive quality starts since his four-inning, 10-run outing against Kansas City on June 17. In those three outings, the right-hander has a 1.71 ERA, 0.91 WHIP and 28 strikeouts in 21 innings.
Scherzer (10-3) has already faced the Dodgers this season, holding them to two runs in seven innings during an April 8 loss at Dodger Stadium. He will see the lineup with an extra hitter in it this time since the game is at Comerica Park, but Scherzer knows it's an opportunity against another first-place team.
"They're a good team, we're a good team," Scherzer said. "I don't care what set of rules we play by. We can play by any set of rules. It's going to be a good game."
Like Scherzer, Greinke has bounced back in his last few starts after an uncharacteristic appearance against the Royals a few weeks ago. Greinke was tagged for 11 hits and five runs in 5 2/3 innings against Kansas City on June 23. But in two starts since then, Greinke has combined to allow two earned runs on 13 hits in 15 innings while racking up 18 strikeouts against just two walks.
The right-hander got his 11th win in his last start by limiting the Rockies to two runs -- only one of which was earned -- in eight innings.
"All of my pitches were useable and I got ahead of the count with quality pitches," Greinke said after defeating Colorado. "I got a lot of first-pitch outs, five or six, and a couple double plays. That was key."
Dodgers: Ramirez gets time to heal as DH
Hanley Ramirez has been banged up lately with shoulder and calf issues, and with the Dodgers in an American League stadium, manager Don Mattingly has decided to use his regular shortstop as the designated hitter for their two games at Comerica Park this week.
"It depends if somebody else comes up with something and couldn't play the field," Mattingly said. "We'll just see, but [Hanley] will probably DH [Wednesday]."
Ramirez hit third as the DH on Tuesday, going 1-for-3 with a run and a walk as the Dodgers' lost, 14-5, despite a five-run first inning. Ramirez has now appeared as the team's DH three times this season, and is 4-for-11.
Tigers: Ausmus being cautious with V-Mart
Tigers manager Brad Ausmus is not rushing Victor Martinez back in the lineup as the veteran nurses a sore back and side.
Martinez hasn't played since Friday, and it's unlikely he'll be in the lineup for Wednesday's finale vs. the Dodgers. Serving primarily as the Tigers' DH, Martinez has raked his way to an All-Star bid with a .328 average, .991 OPS, 21 home runs and 55 RBIs.
Martinez was behind the plate and at first base in the first meeting between the clubs in Los Angeles. Without Martinez, Ausmus said he feels any advantage his team would've had because of the DH is negated.
"I'd like to have Victor healthy and play our rules because then we have our regular DH in there," Ausmus said. "But I don't know that it makes a huge difference. If Victor was healthy, it'd be a huge difference."
• The 14 runs the Tigers scored Tuesday were the most they've scored in a single game this season.
• The Tigers-Dodgers meeting Tuesday was their first of three this season that did not go to extra innings.
Stephen Pianovich is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.