DETROIT -- The Detroit Tigers desperately needed a strong pitching performance to snap their longest losing streak of the season.
Max Scherzer came through for them.
Scherzer threw seven scoreless innings to help Detroit beat the Texas Rangers 4-1 on Wednesday night, ending a seven-game skid.
"He pitched a great ballgame," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "That's what it normally takes to break a string like this."
Offense helps, too.
Scherzer (7-7) gave up four hits and three walks -- throwing a career-high 123 pitches -- and won his sixth straight start at home.
"It was important for me to end the streak," Scherzer said.
Phil Coke pitched a perfect eighth and Jose Valverde had a shaky ninth. The All-Star closer walked Ian Kinsler, hit Vladimir Guerrero and allowed both to advance on a wild pitch. Josh Hamilton's groundout pulled Texas within three, but the threat ended when Nelson Cruz struck out and David Murphy grounded out.
"I was worried," Leyland said. "That's not like him, but he bounced back."
Colby Lewis (9-6) allowed four runs and nine hits over seven innings for the AL West-leading Rangers, who had won three straight.
"We went 5-2 and won two series against Boston and Detroit, so we're going home with our heads high," manager Ron Washington said. "Those aren't two teams that you can just expect to beat every night, and we won both series. Now we've got to go home and play four good games of baseball against the Angels and see what happens."
Lewis walked Carlos Guillen to start the second inning, then allowed the light-hitting Laird to hit his fourth homer of the season and first in nearly a month on a 1-0 slider.
"When you hit that pitch out, I think there's some luck involved," Lewis said. "But he put a good swing on it."
Ordonez, who failed to drive in runs when he had chances in each of his first three at-bats, hit an RBI single and Cabrera followed with a sacrifice fly in the seventh.
Scherzer shut down the middle of Texas' lineup in the fourth after Michael Young led off the inning with a triple.
He stranded him by retiring Kinsler, Guerrero -- flailing on a nasty slider that started in and tailed low and away -- and Hamilton.
"When Mike leads off with a triple and we've got 3-4-5 coming up, we always think we're going to get at least one run out of it," Washington said. "You expect one of those three guys to do something, but give Scherzer credit. He got out of that. That could have changed the whole game, but good pitching stops hitting."
- The Tigers recalled IF Scott Sizemore from Triple-A Toledo to give them another option at 3B with Brandon Inge (broken left hand) out 4-6 weeks and expect to start him when they begin a four-game set Thursday afternoon at home against Toronto.
- Leyland said slumping rookie OF Brennan Boesch won't be in the lineup in the series opener for the Tigers after a second hitless game dropped him to 3 for 29 with no homers and one RBI since the break. "I tried to warn everybody that you're not going to hit .380 all year," Leyland said. "I'm going to give him a rest."
- Kinsler has a 14-game hitting streak.
- Detroit rookie Austin Jackson went 3 for 4 and has hit in 18 of the last 20 games.