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Scherzer: If it were me, I’d try to get Jeter out

By Mike Berardino and John Shipley

St. Paul Pioneer Press

MINNEAPOLIS — Whichever explanation you believe from Adam Wainwright — that he did or did not groove a pitch to Derek Jeter in Tuesday’s All-Star Game — Detroit Tigers right-hander Max Scherzer just knows one thing.

He wouldn’t do anybody any favors, all-star game or no all-star game.

“When you’re out there and it’s a game and things are on the line, you want to win,” Scherzer, the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner, said after the game. “Even though it’s (Jeter’s) last All-Star Game, if I was pitching on the NL, I would want to get him out.”

Jeter doubled and scored on MVP Mike Trout’s triple, setting up the AL’s 5-3 victory at Target Field. Scherzer earned the victory with a scoreless sixth inning, and the AL earned home-field advantage in the World Series.

What if the outcome didn’t determine home-field advantage for the World Series? Would Scherzer be more charitable then?

“No, you’ve got to earn it,” he said. “(Jeter) is one of the best of all-time. It’s his last All-Star Game, and he should have his moment. But if I was pitching on the National League and I was on the mound, I’d want to get him out. He’s got to earn it.”

As for Wainwright in particular, Scherzer wouldn’t be drawn into potential criticism of the St. Louis Cardinals right-hander, who started for the NL.

“If that’s what he wanted to do, that’s fine,” Scherzer said. “I just know if I’m on the mound, you have to earn it off me. I can only talk about what I would do and not what other people do.”

True believer

The Twins closed the first half with a 5-2 trip through Seattle and Colorado but resume play Friday night against Tampa Bay at Target Field last in the AL Central, 10½ games behind first-place Detroit.

All-Star closer Glen Perkins said his experience this week made him really eager to make the playoffs, but with that unlikely this season, the Twins could use a good portion of the remaining season to give promising prospects major league experience.

Is that OK with Perkins?

“At some point, we’re going to have to,” he said. “We have a chance to be really good at some point in the next four years. But I know it’s hard some some guys to focus on (the future).”

In the spring, Perkins signed an extension through 2017 with a team option for 2018.

“I believe in what we’re doing,” he said. “That’s why I want to be here.”

The long goodbye

Because Jeter, 40, announced his impending retirement before the season started, he has been fêted at visiting ballparks for half a season. Two weeks ago, the Twins presented him with a second base from the Metrodome, where he played 52 games and hit .301 for his career.

So there was no reason for the Twins to do something else in Tuesday night’s game. Instead, Jeter’s AL manager, John Farrell, and teammates gave him a special sendoff. Farrell sent Jeter out to short to start the fourth, then had Chicago’s Alexei Ramirez replace him so Jeter could leave to an ovation.

Play didn’t resume until Jeter had gotten a handshake or hug from everyone in the dugout and had come out for a curtain call.

“I didn’t know what was going to happen,” Jeter said. “My back was turned, and I heard (Robinson) Cano yelling; usually when he yells, I ignore him. And then I saw Ramirez come out. So it was a wonderful moment that I am always going to remember.

“I appreciate John doing that for me, but it was a special moment and it was unscripted and, like I said, I was unaware of it. But the way the fans treated me, you know, these are fans from all different teams, and fans have always been respectful of me my entire career, both at home and on the road.”

The Pioneer Press is a media partner with Forum News Service.