Tigers set playoff rotation, tab Scherzer for Game 1
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DETROIT -- Max Scherzer will start Detroit's AL division series opener Friday night at Oakland, with star Justin Verlander following in Game 2.

Scherzer (21-3) was baseball's lone 20-game winner this year and started for the American League in the All-Star game, but manager Jim Leyland's choice for the opener had not been clear. Verlander was the 2011 AL MVP and has been one of the top pitchers in the game over the last few seasons.

[NEWS: A's tab Colon to start Game 1]

The Tigers won the AL Central for a third straight year, thanks to an exceptionally deep rotation. It will be last year's Cy Young runner-up going in Game 2 followed by this year's ERA champion, as Anibal Sanchez won't pitch until Game 3 against the A's. Doug Fister starts Game 4.

Leyland said relievers Bruce Rondon and Phil Coke will likely miss the series due to elbow problems.

The Tigers playoff rotation:

Game 1 -- Max Scherzer
Game 2 -- Justin Verlander
Game 3 -- Anibal Sanchez
Game 4 -- Doug Fister

The Associated Press contributed to this report