SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) – Max Scherzer managed to find one positive aspect about his final spring training performance: It won’t mean a thing by the end of the week.
Luke Scott homered twice off Scherzer and drove in seven runs to carry the Baltimore Orioles over the Detroit Tigers 14-9 on Monday.
Scherzer yielded 12 runs, 11 earned, in 2 1-3 innings. Among the nine hits he allowed was Jake Fox’s major league-leading 10th home run.
“I wanted to be dialed in today and I wasn’t,” Scherzer said. “I look forward to making the adjustments I need to make going into my first start.”
Scherzer is scheduled to pitch Sunday in New York and has been chosen by manager Jim Leyland to start the home opener against Kansas City on April 8.
The right-hander hopes that in a matter of days he will have corrected the flaws that were quite apparent against the Orioles.
“I was really flying open today. Everything was finishing off to the first-base side,” Scherzer said. “I just couldn’t make the necessary adjustment during the game to fix that.”
He finished off the afternoon by throwing another 20 pitches in the bullpen, and hopes his next side session will provide more answers.
“I think I’ve got a couple things I’m doing wrong,” Scherzer said. “I’ve been in this situation before, and I know it will only take one bullpen to fix it.”
He needs to correct things in a hurry. After going 12-11 with a 3.50 ERA with 184 strikeouts for Detroit last year, Scherzer went 1-3 with a 10.38 ERA this spring.
“It is what is. Spring training is over. Now it’s the season,” he said. “I wish I could have had a better spring training. I didn’t. But at the end of the day, you pitch the season. That’s the only thing that matters now, how I pitch in the season.”
Scherzer’s misery against the Orioles began almost instantly. After two hits and a hit batter loaded the bases, he struck out Vladimir Guerrero. But Scott followed by hitting an opposite-field, 3-2 pitch over the left-field wall.
“I didn’t want to walk in a run,” Scherzer said. “I thought I made a decent pitch there. He put a good swing on it, found barrel on it and was able to get enough of it to get it out.”
Fox led off the second with a homer and Guerrero singled in a run before Scott homered with two on. Scott came in with a .185 batting average, two homers and six RBIs.
Brian Roberts had three hits and scored three runs for the Orioles, who built a 13-0 lead in the third inning. Zach Britton allowed two runs and eight hits in six innings.
“He threw the ball well with the lead we had,” manager Buck Showalter said. “He had a good spring. You can tell why people think a lot of his potential and future, including me now. He has a chance to be a good one.”
Brennan Boesch homered for Detroit, which scored six runs in the ninth off two minor league relievers.
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