Hunter helps Tigers pound White Sox

Torii Hunter reached base five times and Max Scherzer earned his 20th win as the Detroit Tigers pushed their magic number in the American League Central to three with a 12-5 win over the Chicago White Sox.

Hunter went 4-for-5 with three RBI, two runs scored and a walk for Detroit, which won for the eighth time in its last 10 games. Andy Dirks, Prince Fielder and Victor Martinez all drove in a pair of runs, with Martinez's coming off a two-run home run in the fifth.

Scherzer (20-3) was touched for three runs on six hits over six frames in the victory, holding his lead over Washington's Jordan Zimmermann (19) for most wins in the majors.

"Not many people are able to accomplish this," said Scherzer on his 20 wins. "But at the same time, I realize why I accomplished this. It's not just me pitching well, it's because of the team effort."

Avisail Garcia went deep and tripled for the White Sox while Conor Gillaspie also smacked a three-bagger. Dylan Axelrod (4-10) was lifted after just 2 2/3 innings in which he gave up 10 hits and seven runs to absorb the loss.

"They're a good team, they're the best in our division at this point," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura about the Tigers.

Alejandro De Aza slapped a double to right to start the game and moved to third when Alexei Ramirez struck out but took first on a wild pitch. De Aza scored on Gillaspie's sac fly to center.

The Tigers wasted no time claiming the lead, plating a pair of runs in the bottom of the first to regain control. Austin Jackson doubled, Hunter walked and after the pair moved up a base on a fly to right by Miguel Cabrera, Martinez was intentionally walked to load the bases. Dirks made Chicago pay for its decision, smacking a two-RBI single to center.

Jackson singled with one out an inning later and scored easily on Hunter's double down the left field line.

Alex Avila's third-inning single to left brought home Martinez, who singled to lead off the frame. Hunter then plated a pair with two outs and Axelrod departed with Chicago trailing 6-1.

Cabrera greeted new pitcher Ramon Troncoso with a single to left, plating Ramon Santiago for a 7-1 margin.

Garcia's fourth-inning homer gave the Sox some hope of a comeback, but Detroit put five runs across in the fifth inning to pull away.

Hunter's third hit, a single between first and second base, put two on for Cabrera with one gone. Cabrera advanced the runners for a second time, this time on a chopper to second, and Fielder delivered a two-run single to left. Martinez followed with his 13th homer of the season, and the rout was on.

Still with two outs in the fifth, Dirks singled and scored on an Omar Infante triple.

Chicago got a pair of runs back in the eighth off Jose Alvarez. Following Gillaspie's leadoff triple, Marcus Semien hit a sac fly to left. Jeff Keppinger then delivered a pinch-hit double and scored on Garcia's triple.

Game Notes

The Tigers have won 19 of 25 against the Sox ... Detroit belted 18 hits to Chicago's nine ... This was Hunter's fourth four-hit game of the season ... Despite the scoring outburst, Detroit hit 7-for-20 with runners in scoring position and left 11 on base.