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Scherzer stellar over seven shutout innings

Make no mistake, Tigers manager Jim Leyland knows what's at stake.

He's just not going to let the battle for home-field advantage in the first round of the American League playoffs "eat him up."

"The thing I love about our team is that they're not getting too excited about anything. We don't really know what to tell them," Leyland said. "We tell them to bring a suitcase, and hopefully you can take it home after the game."

The Tigers topped the Indians, 14-0, on Monday night and remained one game behind the Rangers in the race for the No. 2 seed in the AL behind the top-seeded Yankees. If the Tigers earn the second seed, they will open at home in the AL Division Series. If they're the third seed, they'll open the postseason on the road.

The Rangers beat the Angels, 4-3, on Monday night.

"Our team has been really good about handling it [with all] the distractions," Leyland said. "It sounds like a little thing, but you talk about somebody's family. Do you get them a ticket to New York or do you get them a ticket to somewhere else? Or are they somewhere in between or where are they going? ... This stuff will eat you up if you're not careful. It'll eat you up."

Leyland will send Max Scherzer to the mound Tuesday in a start that puts him in line to pitch Game 3 of the ALDS. It also gives Scherzer one more chance at the first 15-win season by a Tiger other than Justin Verlander since Kenny Rogers won 17 games in 2006.

The Indians will counter with Jeanmar Gomez, who has not allowed more than two runs in a start since July 17. In his most recent outing, Gomez yielded one earned run in six innings against the White Sox. He has also earned the victory in each of his past five starts.

As for Leyland, he feels fortunate to be in the position he is in.

"I've got the best job right now," the manager said. "The guy who has the worst job is the traveling secretary. Trust me. That poor [guy]. He's having a tough time and he's done tremendous, and he deserves some credit."

Indians: Asdrubal returns to lineup
• Shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera was back in the lineup for the Indians on Monday after missing Sunday's game with a bruised right elbow. He went 1-for-3.

• Left fielder Shelley Duncan is hitting .280 with seven home runs, six doubles, 22 RBIs and 14 runs scored in 24 games in September.

Tigers: Miggy raises AL-leading batting average
• Miguel Cabrera went 3-for-5 Monday to raise his batting average to an AL-best .343. He's still not ready to talk about personal accomplishments.

"Right now, if I start talking about the batting title or anything, it's going to sound bad because we're working to the playoffs and winning in the playoffs," Cabrera said. "I think that's the mindset we've got to have right now."

• Wilson Betemit remains day to day. He was scheduled to start Monday but is still bothered by his left knee.

Worth noting
• The Tigers are 6-1 against the Indians at home this season.

• Cleveland's Carlos Santana has hit safely in 13 of his last 16 games, batting .310 with two doubles, six homers and 11 RBIs during that span. Comments