By MIKE FITZPATRICK, AP Sports Writer
NEW YORK (AP) _ Max Scherzer outpitched Matt Harvey in their All-Star rematch, striking out 11 and hitting a stunning RBI double that sent the Detroit Tigers to a 3-0 victory over the New York Mets on Saturday.
Scherzer (19-1) joined Rube Marquard in 1912 and Roger Clemens in 2001 as the only major league pitchers to win 19 of their first 20 decisions in a season.
Andy Dirks had three hits off Harvey, who gave up a career-high 13 against Detroit’s powerful lineup. He pitched out of trouble to keep the Mets in the game, but they lost for the fifth time in his last six starts.
Missing injured slugger David Wright, the Mets have managed only two runs during a three-game skid. They were outhit 15-3 in this one.
Harvey and Scherzer squared off on the same Citi Field mound 51/2 weeks ago in the All-Star game. Scherzer started and pitched a scoreless inning for the American League in its 3-0 victory. Harvey got the ball for the NL, escaped an early jam and struck out three over two shutout innings to delight the home crowd.
The Mets said Saturday marked the third time All-Star starters had faced each other on another occasion during the same season, according to research by the Elias Sports Bureau. The first two came in the World Series: Mets ace Dwight Gooden opposed Clemens and the Boston Red Sox in 1986, and Red Ruffing of the New York Yankees faced Cincinnati’s Paul Derringer in 1939.
Scherzer, who has enjoyed the best offensive support in the AL at about 71/2 runs per nine innings, allowed three hits and four walks in six innings.
New York loaded the bases with one out in the sixth, but a good play by Dirks on Ike Davis’ double off the base of the right-field wall forced Daniel Murphy to hold at third.
Scherzer struck out rookie Juan Lagares with a high fastball at 96 mph. John Buck popped up the next pitch, and a fired-up Scherzer pounded his glove in excitement, knowing his day was done after 118 pitches.
Jose Alvarez set down all four batters he faced, and Joaquin Benoit worked a perfect ninth for his 17th save.
Don Kelly added a sacrifice fly in the ninth.
Pitching before a crowd of 35,636 on a beautiful, 78-degree day, Harvey (9-5) didn’t have it early. He gave up hits to six of his first 10 batters, and the Tigers scored twice in the second inning.
Dirks led off with a double and went to third on Brayan Pena’s single. One out later, Scherzer showed bunt on one pitch and then swung away at the next, lashing an RBI double over shortstop.
A giddy Scherzer clapped his hands and cracked a smile at second base as the Detroit bench broke up in amusement. It was Scherzer’s first hit and RBI in nine at-bats since joining the Tigers in 2010, but he did bat a respectable .226 with two doubles and three RBIs for Arizona in 2009.
On Friday, Scherzer said he was looking forward to the challenge of pitching against Harvey in their much-anticipated rematch. But the Tigers’ right-hander lamented the fact that a rare chance to hit would come against such a dominant opponent.
“I actually want to get a hit, being in the American League,” Scherzer said. “I feel like the cards are stacked against me.”
Austin Jackson drove in another run with an infield single, but Harvey prevented further damage and settled down during the middle innings. He kept the Mets in it with the help of left fielder Eric Young Jr., who threw out a hobbled Omar Infante at the plate in the seventh.
After yielding four straight singles, Harvey was pulled with the bases loaded and two outs. Scott Rice retired pinch-hitter Torii Hunter on a fielder’s choice grounder, though replays showed Matt Tuiasosopo was safe at second.
Tigers manager Jim Leyland came out for a brief argument with umpire Ed Hickox.
Wearing orange Los Mets jerseys on Fiesta Latina Day, New York managed only two baserunners against Scherzer over the first four innings. Davis singled in the second and walked in the fourth.
Scherzer walked two more in the fifth but struck out Young to end the inning after a visit from pitching coach Jeff Jones.
Harvey’s bat slipped out of his hands on his first swing and sailed into the stands behind the Tigers’ on-deck circle. He made no effort to retrieve it.
NOTES: Leyland said Victor Martinez, normally the DH, will probably catch again Sunday. Martinez, who missed last season following knee surgery, started behind the plate Friday night for the first time since Aug. 4, 2011. “He’s standing, he’s breathing, 98.6 temperature, I guess he’s OK,” Leyland said. … Martinez and Hunter were rested. SS Jose Iglesias was out of the lineup with a sore left elbow after he was hit by a pitch in the ninth inning Friday. X-rays were negative, but Leyland said Iglesias couldn’t bend his swollen arm and wouldn’t be available off the bench. Leyland hoped Iglesias could play Sunday. … RHP Octavio Dotel, out since April 20 with elbow inflammation, was scheduled to make another rehab appearance Saturday with Class-A Lakeland after his previous one was rained out, Leyland said. … New York recalled 1B-OF Lucas Duda and optioned OF Mike Baxter to Triple-A Las Vegas.
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