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Tigers pick Max Scherzer to start playoff opener against A's

  • Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Max Scherzer follows through with a pitch to the Boston Red Sox during the first inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston, Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2013. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

DETROIT — Max Scherzer will start Detroit's AL division series opener Friday night at Oakland, with star Justin Verlander following in Game 2.

Scherzer (21-3) was baseball's lone 20-game winner this year and started for the American League in the All-Star game, but manager Jim Leyland's choice for the opener had not been clear. Verlander was the 2011 AL MVP and has been one of the top pitchers in the game over the last few seasons.

The Tigers won the AL Central for a third straight year, thanks to an exceptionally deep rotation. Anibal Sanchez, the AL's ERA leader, won't pitch until Game 3 against the Athletics. Doug Fister starts Game 4.

Leyland said relievers Bruce Rondon and Phil Coke will likely miss the series due to elbow problems.

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