DETROIT -- The Tigers can pitch Max Scherzer on Sunday afternoon, and they can keep him on turn to make two more starts after that. The Major League strikeouts leader, who left his start Tuesday after just two innings due to shoulder fatigue, was cleared to start after throwing a 10-minute session Saturday afternoon.
"Everything felt good," Scherzer said. "My arm warmed up quick. My arm felt 100 percent. I was able to throw every pitch."
Scherzer will pitch the front end of Sunday's day-night doubleheader against the Twins. Drew Smyly, who had been an insurance option for Scherzer's spot until Friday's rainout, will pitch Sunday's nightcap.
Rick Porcello, whose scheduled start Friday night was rained out, will have his turn skipped in the rotation and will start next Wednesday against the Royals. Once Sunday became a doubleheader, Porcello was an option to pitch if Scherzer wasn't ready.
Instead, Porcello will spend the weekend available in the bullpen if needed, then prepare for Kansas City, a team against which he has fared much better than Minnesota. He has given up 27 hits in 13 2/3 innings against the Twins in 2012, including 12 hits in 3 2/3 innings during a start in July. Four of the 12 runs he has allowed to Minnesota have been unearned, accounting more than one-third of his total of unearned runs this year.