Scherzer wins 17th, Tigers blitz Tribe to sweep 4-game set
Cleveland, OH – Max Scherzer won his 17th game to join elite company, while Victor Martinez and Miguel Cabrera knocked in three runs apiece as the Detroit Tigers completed a four-game sweep of the Cleveland Indians with a convincing 10-3 victory on Thursday.
Scherzer (17-1) breezed through seven innings, allowing four hits and a pair of runs while fanning five with one walk to earn his fourth straight victory.
The right-hander became the first pitcher to win 17 of his first 18 decisions since Roger Clemens did so with the Yankees in 2001.
Prince Fielder drove in two runs and Andy Dirks contributed two hits and an RBI for the Tigers, who have won 12 straight games to match their longest streak since a similar run from Sept. 2-14, 2011.
"We came out here and played probably as good a four-game series as we played all year," Scherzer said. "When we're able to execute as a team and we play well as a team, we can do great things."
Detroit has won 13 of 16 meetings this season with the Tribe, whom it leads by seven games in the AL Central.
Asdrubal Cabrera totaled a pair of RBI doubles for the Indians, losers in five of their last seven.
Zach McAllister (4-7) lasted just 2 1/3 frames, charged with four hits and six runs -- five earned -- with four walks.
"This was a big series for us," McAllister said. "Obviously we didn't come out and win the games we would have liked to, but they're a good team over there and we're a good team over here."
Detroit cracked the scoreboard with a six-spot in the third. A single sandwiched around two walks loaded the bases with none out and after Dirks fanned, Miguel Cabrera walked to force in a run, Fielder plated two with a double and scored when Martinez followed with a double that also brought in Cabrera.
Don Kelly then walked and McAllister was pulled for Preston Guilmet, who got Alex Avila on a liner to right before Martinez came in when Indians second baseman Aviles flubbed a Ramon Santiago grounder.
It was 8-0 in the fourth after a Dirks RBI double and run-scoring single from Martinez.
Meanwhile, Scherzer retired the first nine batters he faced, but Michael Bourn started the home fourth with an infield hit and scored on Asdrubal Cabrera's two-out double to the gap in right center.
The Tigers hit double digits in the fifth, as Santiago and Hernan Perez singled to kick off the frame and scored on Miguel Cabrera's two-out, two-run single for a 10-1 contest.
Asdrubal Cabrera again doubled home a run in the sixth, and Bourn came up with an awkward catch on a sinking liner from Miguel Cabrera to save two runs in the seventh.
Cleveland tacked on a run in the ninth when Jason Kipnis scored on an infield hit from Michael Brantley compounded by Detroit reliever Phil Coke's wild throw to first.
Detroit posted its first four-game sweep in Cleveland since June 9-12, 1988 at Municipal Stadium ... Scherzer fanned Kipnis to end the first, notching his 1,000th career strikeout ... Miguel Cabrera worked his third bases-loaded walk of the year and ninth of his career ... Ryan Raburn tossed the ninth for the Tribe, the first non-pitcher to take the mound for the team since Andy Marte on July 29, 2010 against the Yankees ... Tigers catcher Avila left the game in the seventh inning and is being evaluated for a possible concussion.