DETROIT — Torii Hunter hit a three-run homer with two outs in the ninth inning Thursday, lifting Detroit over the Oakland Athletics 7-6 and boosting the Tigers after Max Scherzer was denied his 20th win and Miguel Cabrera limped off with an injury.
Detroit scored four times in the ninth off Grant Balfour (0-3). A two-out walk set up Victor Martinez’s RBI single, and then Hunter connected as the Tigers avoided a four-game series sweep.
Scherzer gave up six runs in five innings. The no-decision left him with a 19-1 record.
Cabrera hurt his abdomen making an awkward slide while trying to stretch a single into a double in the fifth. He was listed as day to day with discomfort, but insisted he would be back in the lineup tonight when the AL Central-leading Tigers begin a series against the second-place Cleveland Indians.
Prince Fielder hit his 21st homer for Detroit, and Joaquin Benoit (4-0) pitched the ninth for the win.
Jed Lowrie and Brandon Moss each hit a two-run homer for Oakland.
ANGELS 2, RAYS 0
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Jason Vargas allowed two hits over seven innings, helping the Angels win for the fifth time in six games.
Vargas (8-5) gave up a leadoff double to Desmond Jennings in the first and Ben Zobrist’s sixth-inning infield single. The left-hander struck out seven and walked three.
ROYALS 3, TWINS 1
MINNEAPOLIS — Bruce Chen bounced back with a solid start and Kansas City completed a sweep for their fifth straight win.
Chen (6-2) gave up one run and five hits in 5 2-3 innings. In his past two starts, he allowed 13 runs in nine innings.
BREWERS 4, PIRATES 0
PITTSBURGH — Yovani Gallardo pitched seven sharp innings to beat Pittsburgh once again and Aramis Ramirez homered against his former team as the Milwaukee Brewers downed the Pirates 4-0 Thursday night.
The Pirates fell one game behind NL Central-leading St. Louis. The Cardinals were idle, and start a three-game series at Pittsburgh tonight.
NATS 9, MARLINS 0
WASHINGTON — Jayson Werth and Ian Desmond each hit a three-run homer, leading Gio Gonzalez and the Washington Nationals over Miami.
Bryce Harper also homered as the Nationals won for the eighth time in nine games. They pulled within 6½ games of idle Cincinnati for the second NL wild-card slot.
BRAVES 3, INDIANS 1
ATLANTA— Brian McCann hit a three-run homer, Kris Medlen pitched seven scoreless innings and the Atlanta Braves completed a sweep of Cleveland.
METS 11, PHILLIES 3
NEW YORK — Carlos Torres did his best Matt Harvey imitation, carrying a two-hit shutout into the seventh inning for the New York Mets in a victory over Philadelphia.
Daniel Murphy had four hits, Eric Young Jr. got three and Anthony Recker added a two-run homer on his 30th birthday.
Torres (3-2) started in place of Harvey, the All-Star ace diagnosed Monday with a partially torn elbow ligament, and gave the Mets everything they could have hoped for in helping them earn a four-game series split.
Three days after making a brief relief appearance, Torres struck out six and walked none in 6 2-3 innings. He yielded four hits.
Phillies starter Ethan Martin (2-3) struck out a career-high nine, including five in a row.