DETROIT -- Unfortunately for the Tigers, they didn't gain any ground on the division-leading White Sox with Tuesday night's 12-2 victory over the A's. But they might have dodged a couple of bullets.
Both Max Scherzer and Quintin Berry left the game with right shoulder injuries. However, both underwent tests, received positive news and appeared to be OK in the clubhouse after the game.
Scherzer was the first to exit after throwing only 44 pitches through two innings.
"I noticed in the first, but I didn't have any pain in my shoulder. My arm was dead," said Scherzer, who was diagnosed with right shoulder fatigue. "I was able to finish out the first inning and obviously I went out for the second and my arm felt good at least to start the inning. But the end of the inning, the [Coco] Crisp at-bat, I really ran out of steam.
"I could feel my arm losing strength. I could feel I didn't have the strength that I normally have. When something like that happens, you've got to come out of the game."
Darin Downs was spotted warming up in the bullpen in the bottom of the second inning and when he entered the game it came as a shock. Scherzer had shown no signs of being hurt and had yielded one run on two hits and two walks.
His fastball velocity was a bit low -- hovering in the low-90s -- but it was thought he was taking a similar approach to that of Justin Verlander, who saves his high heat for the later innings.
Scherzer's last fastball was clocked at 90 mph and it was decided he needed to be pulled. He underwent an MRI which revealed no structural damage, something he already knew.
"I've had issues in the past, but nothing like this. I could feel it was outside of the shoulder joint, none of the major structural problems," Scherzer said. "That's why I tried to battle through it. But once I realized it was only going to get worse, that's when I needed to come out."
The 28-year-old said he will be reevaluated and try to throw again in a few days. He also said he could make his next start, although that's not guaranteed.
Any loss of time for Scherzer is a brutal blow to the Tigers. He entered the game 8-1 with a 2.61 ERA since the All-Star break and is also the Major League leader in strikeouts (220).
In the top of the seventh, Berry followed Scherzer into the clubhouse with a right shoulder injury of his own.
Berry dove for a shallow pop fly in left field off the bat of A's outfielder Josh Reddick, missing by inches and crashing to the ground. He quickly got the ball into second base, but remained down in the outfield, holding his shoulder.
"I've done that before and it ended up turning into something serious, so I was kind of afraid it might've been that again," Berry said.
Head athletic trainer Kevin Rand rushed out from the dugout and Berry was removed from the game. Berry went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and had started in three of the Tigers' past four games, going 5-for-12 in those contests.
He had X-rays taken, which came back negative.
"That's a big relief. Real big," he said.
Berry was still sore after the game, but manager Jim Leyland said he wouldn't have started Wednesday or Thursday's games against A's lefties anyway, so he'll have time to recover.
Anthony Odoardi is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.