DETROIT – Jeremy Guthrie was ready to go back out to the mound after a 53-minute rain delay in the fourth inning. Colorado manager Jim Tracy preferred to go to his bullpen.
Max Scherzer struck out 12 in eight dominant innings, rookie Quintin Berry had a career-high five hits and the Detroit Tigers beat Guthrie and the staggering Rockies 5-0 on Sunday.
Guthrie was pulled after three innings and Colorado lost for the 10th time in 11 games.
"I told them that I wouldn't have any problem pitching after the rain," Guthrie said. "They made a decision based on my performance, rather than the delay. I just wasn't pitching well enough to go back out there."
Before the rain, Guthrie (3-6) allowed four runs — three earned — on eight hits and two walks.
"I thought I had good stuff, but I let them start a couple rallies on 0-2 pitches," he said. "I just didn't make the pitches I needed."
Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera each had an RBI double. Gerald Laird added three hits and Berry finished 5 for 5 to help the Tigers win their third straight series, all against National League teams.
Colorado was missing slugger Carlos Gonzalez, scratched moments before the first pitch with what was announced as a sore right hamstring. He was replaced in the lineup by Dexter Fowler, who struck out in his first three at-bats, all with runners on base.
"It was actually a strained right knee," Tracy said. "He did it running sprints to get ready for the game. They had already played the national anthem and the umpires were on the field when our assistant trainer told me that CarGo couldn't play. Right now, it is day to day. We'll have to see."
The game was delayed by rain in the top of the fourth, but Scherzer stayed on the mound to finish that inning and four more. He has struck out at least nine batters six times this season, most in the majors.
Scherzer (6-4) fanned every Rockies starter other than Marco Scutaro in his third double-digit strikeout performance of the season. He gave up seven hits and didn't walk a batter while throwing 122 pitches.
"He came out better after the rain delay. His fastball had more life and his slider and changeup were both working more effectively," Tracy said. "That's the performance of a warrior and a stud."
Brayan Villarreal finished up with one strikeout in a hitless ninth.
The Tigers took a 1-0 lead on Laird's RBI double in the second, then added two more runs in the third.
Berry singled after Guthrie misplayed a foul pop for an error, then took second on a balk. Cabrera walked and Fielder followed with an RBI double. Brennan Boesch flied out but Jhonny Peralta was intentionally walked and Ramon Santiago made it 4-0 with a two-run single.
"Laird hit an 0-2 pitch in the second, and then Jeremy calls for the popped-up bunt from the mound and then hesitates at the last second and doesn't get it," Tracy said. "Then allows another 0-2 hit, and then he balks. I think it is fair to ask about his focus at that point."
Cabrera capped the scoring with an RBI double in the sixth.
NOTES: Guthrie held the Tigers scoreless in his previous two starts against them, both in 2010. He went 2-0, allowing seven hits in 15 innings. ... Scherzer is the first Tigers starter with six nine-strikeout games in Detroit's first 66 games since Hal Newhouser in 1946. ... The Tigers announced before the game that rookie Jacob Turner will start Thursday's series finale against the Cardinals.