Scherzer to miss start with hamstring injury

Scherzer to miss start with hamstring injury

DETROIT -- Following Monday's 6-4 loss to the Twins, the Tigers announced that right-hander Max Scherzer will not make his start Tuesday due to a hamstring injury suffered in Tampa Bay. As a result, Duane Below will make his 2012 debut as a starting pitcher.

"Max Scherzer is not going to start for us tomorrow," Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski told the media who were gathered in manager Jim Leyland's office. "He has a little bit of a hamstring [issue]. He will be able to pitch ... Sunday for us. So he's only going to miss one start. We have confidence in that regard."

Leyland said the injury didn't pop up on the mound, but rather while Scherzer was running at Tropicana Field on Friday. The 27-year-old approached the skipper about it, and after a throwing session went poorly Monday, the team chose the cautious route.

"He was jogging on the turf in Tampa and just felt it," Leyland said. "It's one of those where we can't afford to take a chance with it. We've spoken to him today, he had thrown today, but when he tried to really let go a little bit, he could feel it. So we just automatically scratched him. Not taking any chances."

The Tigers continue to try to battle back to at least a .500 record -- they're two games under -- before the All-Star break. And now they'll have to do it with another youngster on the mound in Below. However, the lefty might be the team's most consistent young arm.

He is 2-1 with a 2.70 ERA in 21 games out of the bullpen this season. The southpaw made two starts for Detroit in 2011, going 0-1 with a 4.66 ERA. He was scheduled to start one other time this year on April 30 against the Royals, but the game got rained out.

"I haven't really put too much thought about it," said Below, who was told just a few minutes before the media. "I'm going to just try to come in and act like a normal day and do everything I can to make it as normal as possible.

"I'm going to continue to act like I'm coming out of the 'pen and just try to do my job and what I've been working on all year. Go in and get outs, get our offense in and that's the biggest thing. Try not to change too much. Go out and try to work quick, keep the ball down and throw strikes."

The Tigers also made two roster moves to keep their bullpen fresh. Relief pitcher Luis Marte and second baseman Danny Worth were both optioned to Triple-A Toledo and relievers Jose Ortega and Darin Downs were called up.

Ortega was 3-5 with a 4.23 ERA in 30 appearances for the Mud Hens and Downs went 0-2 with a 2.22 ERA.

Worth was hitting .182 and hadn't seen an at-bat since June 15 against Colorado. Marte entered Monday's game, allowed a hit and walked four batters, although Leyland said the demotion had nothing to do with that.

"No. Why would it? We need bodies," Leyland said. "He did a good job. He didn't do anything wrong, [and] neither did Danny Worth. But we're in a situation where we thought this was a possibility."

Anthony Odoardi is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.