Minneapolis, MN – Max Scherzer struck out 10 batters over seven scoreless innings Wednesday as the Tigers downed the Twins, 5-1, in the rubber match of a three-game set at Target Field.
Scherzer (12-6) scattered four hits and walked two to earn the victory and has now fanned eight or more in six consecutive starts.
"After that second inning, I was frustrated with myself," said Scherzer, who walked the first two hitters of the inning before striking out the side. "I needed to fire myself up and go after them and be aggressive with it. From then on I was able to stay in the zone."
Miguel Cabrera knocked in two runs and clubbed his 30th home run of the year, becoming the first player in Tigers history to hit at least 30 home runs in five straight seasons.
Delmon Young added a two-run shot for the Tigers, who wrapped up a six-game road trip at 3-3.
Cole De Vries (2-4) surrendered four runs on eight hits and two walks over four-plus innings of work to take the loss.
Joe Mauer knocked in the lone run for the Twins, as they lost for the sixth time in their last seven games.
"He's not second in the league in strikeouts for no reason," said Minnesota outfielder Darin Mastroianni of Scherzer. "His fastball gets on you pretty good and it moves around a little bit. He pitched fantastic and we saw the results."
Cabrera got the Tigers on the board in their first at-bat, crushing a two-out, first-pitch fastball the opposite way over the high wall in right field to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.
Detroit added two more runs in the fourth when Alex Avila smacked a one-out single to set the table for Young, who jumped on a first-pitch fastball and launched it into the first row in left field to make it a 3-0 contest.
In the fifth, Andy Dirks stroked a leadoff double and Cabrera followed with a base hit back up the middle to score Dirks for a four-run lead.
The Tigers tacked on a run in the eighth as Jhonny Peralta ripped a ground- rule double down the left-field line that was touched by a fan before coming around to score on Omar Infante's line-drive single to right.
Octavio Dotel entered for Scherzer in the eighth and surrendered Mauer's RBI single, but Joaquin Benoit retired the Twins in order in the ninth to nail down the victory.
Cabrera has hit at least 30 home runs in six straight seasons and eight of his 10 major league seasons overall ... The Twins optioned shortstop Brian Dozier to Triple-A Rochester and recalled shortstop Pedro Florimon ... Minnesota went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position and left six on base.