Max Scherzer struck out six over six strong innings of one-run ball to lead the Detroit Tigers to a 6-1 triumph over the Minnesota Twins Sunday in the finale of a four-game set at Comerica Park.
Scherzer (7-0) allowed just three hits and three walks to continue his stellar start to the season, as the hard-throwing right-hander hasn't taken a loss over his last 14 appearances dating back to Sept. 23 of last season.
"He was a little sluggish," Detroit manager Jim Leyland said of Scherzer. "But he gathered himself and ended up pitching really good. He didn't give up many hits."
Avisail Garcia provided a pinch-hit, three-run triple in the sixth, while Torii Hunter added a solo shot for the Tigers, who took three of four from the Twins and have won five of their last six overall. Prince Fielder and Alex Avila each knocked in a run in the triumph.
Mike Pelfrey (3-5) was tagged for five runs on five hits and three walks over 5 2/3 frames to absorb the loss.
Jamey Carroll drove in the lone run for the Twins, who have lost 11 of their last 12 games.
"Obviously it's not an ideal situation but every team goes through it in a given season," Carroll said of his team's losing skid. "Hopefully we can go to Milwaukee and start getting things turned around."
Hunter's one-out blast in the first staked the Tigers to a 1-0 lead before Fielder's double in the fourth plated Miguel Cabrera, who started the inning with a walk, to double Detroit's advantage.
Minnesota broke through in the fifth when Pedro Florimon stroked a one-out double and scored on Carroll's single to left, but the Tigers tacked on four runs with two outs in the sixth to seize control.
Cabrera singled with one out and Victor Martinez followed two batters later with a base hit to left to keep the inning alive.
Avila then blooped a single into shallow left to score Cabrera and chase Pelfrey from the contest.
Casey Fien entered and walked Omar Infante to load the bases before being removed in favor of Caleb Thielbar, who served up a bases-clearing triple to Garcia to push Detroit's lead to 6-1.
With Scherzer done after six strong, Luke Putkonen and Drew Smyly combined to hold the Twins hitless over the final three frames to complete the victory.
Hunter's homer was the 299th of his career ... Scherzer's last loss came at home against the Twins on Sept. 23, 2012 ... Minnesota went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position and left eight on base ... Detroit finished 2- for-8 with RISP and stranded three baserunners ... Cabrera extended his hitting streak to 12 games.