Detroit's Joe Louis was the heavyweight boxing champion the last time a Tigers pitcher was 7-0 before the end of May.
Judging by his performance in interleague play last season, Max Scherzer might be the next one to accomplish that feat Saturday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates.Scherzer (6-0, 2.81 ERA) had a chance to become the first seven-game winner in the majors Monday against Toronto but did not get a decision despite allowing one unearned run over seven innings.The right-hander will likely have a couple more opportunities to match Vern Kennedy's mark from 1938 and his best chance might come Saturday. During his first season in Detroit, Scherzer was 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA in three starts against the NL, and he's 2-0 with a 0.90 ERA in his three outings this month.Scherzer, though, will face a Pittsburgh team that's seeking a season-high fourth straight win. The Pirates (21-23) have scored 20 runs over their past three games after totaling 15 during a season-high, six-game slide.They scored six of those runs in the sixth inning of Friday's series opener at PNC Park. Lyle Overbay led off that frame with a homer and Garrett Jones and Neil Walker followed with two-run doubles.Walker tacked on a three-run homer during the 10-1 win and finished with a career-best five RBIs. He's batting .328 in 18 home games this season and has driven in seven runs in his last three.The Tigers (22-22), meanwhile, have scored six times during a four-game skid after tallying 67 runs over a 10-1 stretch."We're just not swinging the bats right now," manager Jim Leyland said. "It's as simple as that. We need to start scoring runs. We've got to find a way to break out of this."Leyland's team might have a chance to snap out of its slump with the struggling Kevin Correia (5-4, 3.97) starting Saturday. The right-hander has an 8.71 ERA over consecutive defeats after opening his first season in Pittsburgh 5-2 with a 2.91 ERA.He matched a season high with six runs allowed over four innings Sunday in Milwaukee."I've felt so good out there the first eight or nine starts I've had," Correia told the team's website. "This was the first day I struggled getting the ball where I wanted to get it."Correia, who has never faced the Tigers, is 2-1 in his last five starts against AL opponents and was 0-1 with a 5.51 ERA in his three last season for San Diego.Scherzer, 1-0 with a 3.65 ERA in two starts against Pittsburgh, is trying to become the first Tigers pitcher to start 7-0 since Jeremy Bonderman won his first eight decisions in 2007.With Friday's loss, Detroit fell to 63-28 in interleague play since the beginning of the 2006 season and one game behind Boston for the best record in the majors.Whether Brandon Inge can help them match the Red Sox again is unknown. The Tigers third baseman sat out Friday's game with sickness.The Pirates' Pedro Alvarez also re-aggravated a right quad injury and his status is uncertain for Saturday.Pittsburgh heads into that game 51-51 all-time at home during interleague play.