Rangers hand Scherzer his first loss
By NOAH TRISTER
AP Baseball Writer
DETROIT — Derek Holland succeeded where so many other pitchers have failed this year — he kept Detroit’s offense quiet while Tigers right-hander Max Scherzer was on the mound.
So the Texas Rangers were the team that finally halted Scherzer’s unbeaten run, tagging the Detroit All-Star with his first loss of the season and defeating the Tigers 7-1 Saturday night.
Scherzer (13-1) was trying to become the first pitcher in the majors to start 14-0 since Roger Clemens in 1986, but Holland (8-4) outpitched him. The Texas left-hander allowed a run and five hits in seven innings. He walked five and struck out seven.
“Scherzer was 13-0 for a reason. He’s got great stuff,” Holland said. “Today I made pitches when I needed to and I thought my defense did a great job making plays and saving me. It’s up there with the big games this year.”
It was Scherzer’s first loss since Sept. 23. This defeat came in his final start before the All-Star game — he could start the event Tuesday night at Citi Field in New York.
Mitch Moreland’s two-run homer in the fourth gave Texas a 3-0 lead, and for once, the AL Central-leading Tigers didn’t back Scherzer with much offensive support. Adrian Beltre added a two-run homer in a three-run ninth for Texas.
Scherzer entered the day leading the majors in run support, and that was no small reason for his unblemished record. He struck out three in the first.
Jurickson Profar’s line drive in the second caught Scherzer in the left wrist, but the Detroit right-hander threw to first for the out and was able to keep going. The Rangers finally put his streak in jeopardy in the fourth.
Nelson Cruz led off with a double, advanced to third on a groundout and scored on a sacrifice fly by A.J. Pierzynski. Scherzer then walked Elvis Andrus, and that came back to haunt him when Moreland lifted a drive to left-center for his 13th homer of the season.
“It was a first-pitch fastball and I tried to put a good swing on it. It worked out,” Moreland said. “Derek kind of set the tone for us.”
Holland lowered his ERA to 3.08, which is better than Scherzer’s mark of 3.19. Holland started the Rangers’ 11-8 victory over Detroit on May 19, allowing two of Miguel Cabrera’s three homers in that game. He was impressive Saturday in front of a sellout crowd of 44,061 at Comerica Park.
“Five walks is really hard to defend, but I thought I made pitches when I had to and those guys made plays to keep those walks from leading to a big snowball effect,” Holland said. “And the offense gave me some runs, too.”
Texas starters are only 10-13 since the beginning of June, even after Holland’s solid performance.
Scherzer allowed four runs and eight hits in six innings, walking two and striking out six. He did extend one streak. He’s struck out at least six hitters in all 19 starts this year.
When he walked off the mound after the third out of the sixth, a few fans behind the Detroit dugout gave him a nice ovation, presumably sensing his night was done. Scherzer threw a season-high 122 pitches.
“I threw some good pitches, they hit it. I threw some bad pitches, they hit it even farther,” Scherzer said. “It’s a loss. That’s what happens when you don’t quite pitch as well.”
Hernan Perez hit an RBI single in the bottom of the fourth for Detroit, but Pierzynski’s RBI bloop double in the fifth made it 4-1.
INDIANS 5, ROYALS 3
CLEVELAND — Lonnie Chisenhall hit his first career grand slam, Scott Kazmir pitched into the seventh inning and the Indians beat the Royals.
Chisenhall’s homer in the sixth broke open a 1-0 game and hit off the facing of the second deck in right field, landing in Kansas City’s bullpen.
Kazmir (5-4) allowed two runs in 6 1-3 innings for his first victory since June 21 as the Indians won for the fifth time in seven games.
Miguel Tejada’s RBI single in the seventh broke a streak of 22 consecutive scoreless innings for Kansas City, which has lost four in a row.
Jason Kipnis’ sacrifice fly in the third gave Cleveland the lead against Royals starter Jeremy Guthrie (8-7).
RAYS 4, ASTROS 3
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Luke Scott had a go-ahead RBI single in the sixth inning and a two-run homer in the fifth, leading the Rays to a victory over the Astros.
Roberto Hernandez survived a shaky first inning to post the Rays’ 14th straight quality start, going six innings and giving up three runs and six hits. He won for the first time in six starts since June 11. Hernandez (5-10) struck out six.
Wil Myers had two hits and scored twice for the Rays, who have won 13 of 15. Fernando Rodney pitched the ninth for his 22nd save.
Brett Wallace homered for the Astros, losers of 11 of 14.
Lucas Harrell (5-10) gave up Scott’s RBI single in the sixth.
BLUE JAYS 7, ORIOLES 3
BALTIMORE — J.P. Arencibia put Toronto ahead with a two-run single in the sixth inning, and the Blue Jays overcame home runs by Chris Davis and Adam Jones in a victory over the Orioles.
Edwin Encarnacion hit his 25th homer, and Maicer Izturis had three hits to help the Blue Jays secure their fourth win in 11 games.
Davis increased his major league-leading home run total to 36 with his third long ball in three games.
Baltimore led 3-2 before the Blue Jays took the lead in the sixth against Jason Hammel (7-6).
Aaron Loup (4-3) got the victory with 1 1-3 innings of hitless relief.
TWINS 4, YANKEES 1
NEW YORK — Samuel Deduno pitched seven impressive innings and the slumping Twins finally figured out a way to beat the Yankees, hitting three home runs off Phil Hughes.
Trevor Plouffe, Ryan Doumit and Pedro Florimon connected against Hughes — all on 2-2 pitches. Minnesota snapped a six-game losing streak with its second victory in 14 games, winning for the first time in six meetings with the Yankees this year.
New York won 32 of the previous 39 matchups, including a pair of playoff sweeps.
Beaten by Hughes earlier this month, Deduno (5-4) scattered six hits in his first start at Yankee Stadium. He struck out three, walked three and matched the longest outing of his career.
Hughes (4-9) tied a career high with 10 strikeouts in 7 1-3 innings.
DODGERS 1, ROCKIES 0
LOS ANGELES — Zack Greinke retired his first 13 batters before finishing a two-hitter to win his fifth straight start and lead the Los Angeles Dodgers over the Colorado Rockies 1-0.
The Dodgers won for the 14th time in 17 games despite the absence of rookie outfielder Yasiel Puig, who missed his first game since his promotion on June 3 because of a sore left hip. He was removed during the previous two games of this series for precautionary reasons.
Greinke (8-2) struck out nine, walked one and got 14 groundball outs while recording his fourth shutout and 13th complete game in 245 career starts. He out-pitched Tyler Chatwood (5-3), who gave up a run in the first inning then nothing the rest of the way.
BRAVES 5, REDS 2
ATLANTA — Mike Minor struggled early before recovering to throw seven strong innings, and also hit a go-ahead double that led Atlanta over Homer Bailey and Cincinnati.
The Braves lost starting outfielders Jason Heyward, B.J. Upton and Justin Upton to injuries in the first two games of the series, but had success with their fill-ins. Jose Constanza, recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett, started in left field and hit leadoff with Reed Johnson in center and rookie Joey Terdoslavich in right.
The patchwork outfield combined for seven hits, including three by Constanza. Brian McCann and Dan Uggla hit home runs.
Minor (9-4) snapped a streak of five straight starts without a win. The left-hander allowed two runs on six hits and one walk — including only one hit in his last five innings. Minor’s two-run double in the fifth gave the Braves a 3-2 lead.
Bailey (5-8) lost his second straight start since throwing his second career no-hitter on July 2. He faded after being given an early 2-0 lead, allowing four runs and 10 hits in six innings.
PIRATES 4, METS 2
PITTSBURGH — Andrew McCutchen hit a tying home run and delivered a go-ahead single the next inning to rally Pittsburgh past New York for the Pirates’ third straight win.
McCutchen’s 10th homer made it 2-all in the sixth. He added an RBI single in the seventh off Greg Burke (0-2).
Justin Wilson (6-1) earned the victory in relief of starter A.J. Burnett. All-Star closer Jason Grilli worked a perfect ninth for his NL-leading 29th save. The victory assured Pittsburgh (56-36) of its best record at the All-Star break since 1975.
Marlon Byrd and Eric Young had two hits apiece for the Mets, but New York’s bullpen faltered in relief of spot starter Carlos Torres.
CUBS 6, CARDINALS 4
CHICAGO — Matt Garza pitched into the seventh inning for his fifth consecutive win and Alfonso Soriano homered again, leading Chicago over St. Louis.
Garza allowed a season-high 10 hits in 6 2-3 innings, but held the NL’s highest scoring offense to two runs while improving to 5-0 with a 1.24 ERA in his last six starts. The right-hander struck out four and walked two. Soriano is batting .350 (21 for 60) with nine homers and 19 RBIs in his last 15 games.
Jon Jay had four hits and Matt Adams went 2 for 4 for St. Louis, which had won six of seven, including a 3-2 victory in the second game of the four-game series on Friday night.
Kevin Gregg allowed Jay’s two-out RBI single in the ninth before retiring Pete Kozma with runners on the corners for his 17th save in 19 chances.
Lance Lynn (11-4) was knocked out in the fifth inning in his second-shortest outing of the season.
MARLINS 2, NATIONALS 1
MIAMI — Giancarlo Stanton homered leading off the ninth inning to tie it and Ed Lucas beat out double-play relay in the 10th to lift Miami over Washington.
Stanton connected against Rafael Soriano.
Steve Cishek (3-4) struck out Scott Hairston and Ryan Zimmerman with runners on second and third to end the Washington 10th.
Adeiny Hechavarria opened the Miami 10th by reaching second when third baseman Chad Tracy fielded his chopper but threw the ball into stands.
Craig Stammen (4-4) walked Jeff Mathis and Placido Polanco sacrificed both runners over. Justin Ruggiano was intentionally walked to load the bases.
Lucas grounded to second baseman Steve Lombardozzi, who threw to shortstop Ian Desmond for the forceout at second. Lucas beat the throw to first as the winning run scored.
WHITE SOX 5, PHILLIES 4
PHILADELPHIA — Alexei Ramirez hit a tiebreaking double in the 11th inning to lift Chicago over Philadelphia 5-4 in the opener of a day-night doubleheader.
After a 41-minute rain delay following the top of the ninth, White Sox righty Nate Jones escaped a no-out, second-and-third jam in the bottom half.
The teams were forced to play two after Friday night’s interleague game was rained out. John Lannan faces Chicago’s Hector Santiago in the nightcap.
Alejandro De Aza hit a two-out triple off J.C. Ramirez (0-1) in the 11th and Ramirez followed with a liner to right-center for his fourth hit. Ramirez then scored when shortstop Jimmy Rollins booted Alex Rios’ grounder for an error.
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