|Detroit (53-45) «||1||2||0||0||1||1||0||0||0||5||8||0|
Max Scherzer is making opponents take notice that the Tigers have another formidable starter for the rest of the American League to worry about.
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Scherzer (10-5) allowed two runs over seven innings to win his fourth straight decision and the Tigers beat the Cleveland Indians for only the second time in eight games this season with a 5-3 victory Wednesday night.
"Max's ceiling is very high," manager Jim Leyland said. "He has a chance to get better and better."
Scherzer, whose only mistake came on Casey Kotchman's two-run homer in the third, isn't too bad now. He held the Indians to three hits, struck out eight and walked four. Scherzer has won nine of his last 11 decisions and has struck out 35 in 32 innings during his winning streak. He also won for the first time in five career starts at Progressive Field.
Scherzer grew stronger as the game went on. He retired 13 of the last 15 he faced and needed only five pitches to get through the seventh.
"You can really judge your outing on your last 15 pitches," he said. "I finished the game really well. I had a good fifth inning, a good sixth inning and I got through the seventh. That helped keep the momentum on our side and I was able to get the game to the bullpen."
The Indians, who will face Verlander in Thursday's series finale, were duly impressed.
"We couldn't do much against Scherzer," manager Manny Acta said. "He beat us all night with his fastball."
Quintin Berry had three hits and drove in two runs for the Tigers, who have won 14 of 17 and remained tied for first in the AL Central with Chicago. The third-place Indians fell four games out.
Berry, who also drew a walk, slapped all three of his hits to the opposite field in left.
"Quintin had a great night," Leyland said. "He was just getting his bat on the ball and not trying to do too much."
Lowe, the Indians' best pitcher the first two months of the season, is 2-8 with a 7.59 ERA in his last 12 starts. The 39-year-old right-hander was 6-1 with a 2.05 ERA in his first eight outings but has been rocked since, allowing 89 hits and 54 earned runs in 64 innings.
"I've pitched worse than this, believe it or not, even though you guys didn't see it," Lowe said. "I've struggled numerous times in my career, but by no means do you go out there and not think you're going to get the job done."
Miguel Cabrera's RBI single in the first gave Detroit the early lead. Singles by Austin Jackson and Berry put runners on first and third before Cabrera lined a single to right-center. Jackson scored and Berry took third, but Cabrera was thrown out trying for second to end the rally.
Lowe continued to struggle in the second when he was hurt by Cabrera's shoddy defense. Alex Avila doubled with one out and Omar Infante sent a routine grounder to short for what should have been the second out, but Cabrera's throw to first pulled Kotchman off the bag with Avila taking third.
Cabrera then made a backhand stop of Jackson's ground ball, but his one-hop throw skipped past second baseman Jason Kipnis and rolled into right field. Avila scored and the runners moved to second and third. Berry's single made it 3-0.
Kotchman's two-run homer -- the Indians' first hit -- closed the gap to 3-2. After Shin-Soo Choo doubled with one out, Kipnis drew a two-out walk, but the inning ended when Michael Brantley flied out to deep right.
Lowe walked the bases loaded to start the fifth, but the Tigers scored only one run on Prince Fielder's sacrifice fly. Berry added an RBI single in the sixth.
Lowe gave up four earned runs and allowed eight hits.
Cabrera has 12 errors this season, including a three-error game June 17 against Pittsburgh.
|The Tigers' Max Scherzer defeats the Indians to win his fourth straight decision and nine of his last 11. (Getty Images)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Austin Jackson, CF||4||2||1||1||1||1||2||.316|
|Quintin Berry, LF||4||0||3||2||1||0||1||.289|
|Miguel Cabrera, 3B||4||0||1||1||1||1||2||.328|
|Prince Fielder, 1B||2||0||0||1||1||0||0||.306|
|Delmon Young, DH||4||0||1||0||1||2||3||.269|
|Brennan Boesch, RF||4||0||0||0||0||0||5||.251|
|Don Kelly, RF||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.176|
|Jhonny Peralta, SS||4||0||0||0||0||0||4||.266|
|Alex Avila, C||3||2||2||0||1||0||0||.240|
|Omar Infante, 2B||3||1||0||0||0||0||0||.284|
|2B - Alex Avila (12, Lowe)|
|SF - Prince Fielder (6)|
|SH - Omar Infante (5)|
|RBI - Austin Jackson (45), Quintin Berry 2 (22), Miguel Cabrera (82), Prince Fielder (69)|
|2-OUT RBI - Quintin Berry (5)|
|Team LOB - 10|
|DP - Avila-Peralta|
|Max Scherzer (W,10-5)||7||3||2||2||4||8||1||4.49|
|Joaquin Benoit (H,22)||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||2.87|
|Jose Valverde (S,19)||1||1||1||1||0||0||1||3.89|
|Pitches-Strikes - Max Scherzer 105-64, Joaquin Benoit 13-7, Jose Valverde 6-5|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Max Scherzer 5-7, Joaquin Benoit 1-2, Jose Valverde 3-0|
|Batters Faced - Max Scherzer 27, Joaquin Benoit 4, Jose Valverde 4|
|Shin-Soo Choo, RF||2||0||1||0||2||0||0||.294|
|Asdrubal Cabrera, SS||4||0||1||0||0||2||2||.280|
|Jason Kipnis, 2B||3||0||0||0||1||1||0||.274|
|Michael Brantley, CF||4||0||1||0||0||0||3||.293|
|Carlos Santana, C||4||0||0||0||0||0||1||.234|
|Travis Hafner, DH||4||1||1||1||0||3||1||.230|
|Johnny Damon, LF||3||1||0||0||1||1||0||.232|
|Casey Kotchman, 1B||4||1||1||2||0||0||0||.233|
|Jack Hannahan, 3B||3||0||0||0||0||1||0||.235|
|2B - Shin-Soo Choo (31, Scherzer), Michael Brantley (28, Scherzer)|
|HR - Travis Hafner (9, Valverde), Casey Kotchman (10, Scherzer)|
|RBI - Travis Hafner (28), Casey Kotchman 2 (38)|
|SB - Michael Brantley (11, 3rd base off Scherzer/Avila)|
|CS - Shin-Soo Choo (5, 2nd base by Scherzer/Avila)|
|Team LOB - 5|
|Outfield Assists - Shin-Soo Choo 1|
|DP - Hannahan-Kipnis-Kotchman|
|E - Asdrubal Cabrera 2 (12, Throwing)|
|Derek Lowe (L,8-9)||6||8||5||4||3||1||0||5.09|
|HBP - Fielder (by Derek Lowe)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Derek Lowe 94-55, Esmil Rogers 25-16, Cody Allen 21-12, Tony Sipp 21-13|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Derek Lowe 10-7, Esmil Rogers 2-1, Cody Allen 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Derek Lowe 30, Esmil Rogers 4, Cody Allen 5, Tony Sipp 3|
|Attendance - 24029|
|Game Time - 2:58|
|Temperature - 82|
|Umpires - Home - Brian Runge, First Base - Tim McClelland, Second Base - Ted Barrett, Third Base - Marvin Hudson|