Cleveland, OH – Detroit's Max Scherzer will have to wait until his next outing for a chance at 14-0, but the Tigers were still able prevail in extra innings Monday night.
Victor Martinez delivered a two-out, two-run double in the top of the 10th to lift the AL Central-leading Tigers to a 4-2 win over the Cleveland Indians in the finale of a four-game series at a soggy Progressive Field.
Martinez doubled off the center-field wall after Matt Albers (2-1) issued consecutive two-out walks to Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder.
"Last pitch to Victor was just a breaking ball I was trying to keep down and away. It just kind of leaked back over the plate," Albers said.
Joaquin Benoit struck out Mike Aviles swinging with men on the corners in the bottom of the 10th to secure his seventh save and push the Tigers' division lead to 3 1/2 games over second-place Cleveland, which dropped three of four in this set.
Scherzer allowed two runs on seven hits, walked three and struck out seven over seven innings, but departed with the score tied 2-2. He was aiming to become the first pitcher since Roger Clemens in 1986 to open a season 14-0.
"I thought we battled so hard tonight. I thought they gave a great effort. They brought their A game, but I thought we did the same," Scherzer said.
Drew Smyly (4-0) picked up the win after retiring three straight batters in the ninth with the winning run on second base.
Scott Kazmir started for the Indians and gave up two runs on four hits and three walks in 5 2/3 innings.
Martinez and Jhonny Peralta hit consecutive doubles in the second to produce the game's first run. The Tigers loaded the bases later in the inning, but Kazmir fanned Austin Jackson to end the threat.
Cleveland moved ahead in the bottom of the second after a 20-minute rain delay. Michael Brantley reached on one-out bunt single and Aviles followed with another base hit before they executed a double steal with two outs.
Play was then halted with a 2-2 count to Lonnie Chisenhall. Following the brief delay, Chisenhall drove the first pitch thrown by Scherzer to right field for a two-run single. Scherzer decided to go with a changeup after feeding him a steady diet of fastballs prior to the stoppage.
The Tigers drew even when Matt Tuiasosopo homered to right off Kazmir in the fourth.
Scherzer has now gone 19 straight starts without suffering a loss, setting a Tigers record. He passed Bobo Newsom, who had 18 from April 25-July 17, 1940 ... Scherzer has now recorded at least six strikeouts in each of his 18 starts this year, the longest stretch to begin a season since Pedro Martinez had a 29-game streak in 2000 ... Cleveland first baseman Mark Reynolds legged out an infield single in the fourth inning to end an 0-for-24 drought ... Detroit leads the season series, 9-3 ... Cleveland suffered its first extra-inning loss this year (5-1) ... The Indians were 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position and left 10 men on base.