Max Scherzer improved to 10-0 and struck out 10, Miguel Cabrera hit a two-run homer and the Detroit Tigers beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-1 on Monday night.
Scherzer became the first pitcher to begin a season 10-0 – with all decisions coming in starts – since Roger Clemens went 11-0 for Toronto in 1997, according to STATS. Scherzer is the second pitcher in Detroit history to start this strong since 1909, when George Mullin was 11-0 with one victory as a reliever, the Elias Sports Bureau said in information provided by the Tigers.
Scherzer allowed one run and seven hits in six innings. Chris Davis hit his major-league-leading 24th homer in the second but struck out with the bases loaded in the fifth and the Orioles down by two runs.
Baltimore’s Jake Arrieta (1-2) allowed five hits on 10 hits in 4-2/3 innings.
With two on and none out in the fifth, Arrieta struck out Cabrera on a wild pitch that allowed two runners to get into scoring position. Victor Martinez hit a sacrifice fly and Jhonny Peralta’s RBI single gave Detroit a four-run cushion in the fifth, chasing Arrieta.
Scherzer’s start ended after finishing off the sixth inning with two strikeouts, giving him at least 10 in a game for the fifth time this year. He’s the first pitcher to have at least six strikeouts in his first 14 starts in a season since Boston’s Pedro Martinez in 2001, according to STATS.
Scherzer lowered his ERA to 3.08 this season for the American League Central leaders.
Drew Smyly followed with three hitless innings for his second save.
Detroit began the game leading baseball with an average of 5.72 runs per game at home and almost scored that much through five innings.
Austin Jackson led off with a single and scored on Cabrera’s seemingly effortless swing, an opposite-field drive that cleared a high wall in right-center for his 19th homer to make it 2-0.
Davis cleared the fence in the same area with a liner to pull Baltimore within a run.
NOTES: Detroit put RHP Anibal Sanchez (shoulder) and C Alex Avila (left forearm) on the 15-day DL and recalled OF Avisail Garcia and C Bryan Holaday from Triple-A Toledo to take their roster spots. The Tigers plan to call up LHP Jose Alvarez to start in place of Sanchez on Thursday at home against the Boston Red Sox. . . . The Baltimore Orioles are planning to start LHP Zach Britton in place of ailing RHP Jason Hammel on Tuesday night against Detroit and RHP Justin Verlander.