Tigers rout Red Sox 10-3, Scherzer now 11-0
DETROIT — Max Scherzer allowed two runs in the first inning — and by the time he took the mound again, he had a two-run lead.
It’s been that kind of season for the Detroit right-hander.
Scherzer won his 11th straight decision to start the year and Victor Martinez hit a first-inning grand slam to lead the Tigers to a 10-3 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Saturday night.
Scherzer was terrific after that shaky beginning, and as usual his teammates gave him plenty of run support.
“It’s nice to start a season 11-0. It just means we’re playing great team baseball and I’m going out there and doing my job,” Scherzer said. “I’m credited a ton of run support. That’s when you’ve got to give all the credit to your teammates. Every time I feel like I go deep into a game, they’re going to pick me up. They have the whole entire season.”
Scherzer allowed a couple runs in the first, including a towering solo homer by David Ortiz, but Martinez’s drive put the Tigers ahead to stay. Martinez also hit an RBI double in the fifth, and Scherzer shut down Boston after the first. He allowed two runs and six hits in seven innings.
Allen Webster (0-2) gave up five runs and eight hits in 4 1-3 innings. He struck out five and walked two.
“The four runs given back in the first set the tone for the entire evening,” Boston manager John Farrell said. “I think he settled down after the first inning and pitched OK.”
Red Sox reliever Franklin Morales yielded four runs, including a two-run homer by Omar Infante. Farrell said Morales could go on the disabled list because of left shoulder discomfort.
Scherzer became the first pitcher to start 11-0 since Roger Clemens in 1997, according to STATS. The last to start 12-0 also was Clemens, during a 14-0 stretch to begin his AL MVP season in 1986.
“I realize that it takes so many other teammates to put me in that position,” Scherzer said. “This is a credit to the Detroit Tigers, for me being in this position. I know I’ve pitched well, and I know I’ve given my team a chance to win, but it doesn’t always go that way.”
The first two hitters singled off Scherzer, and Dustin Pedroia’s double-play grounder gave Boston a 1-0 lead. Ortiz’s 16th homer put the Red Sox up by two.
Detroit erased that deficit in a hurry. After singles by Austin Jackson and Torii Hunter, Miguel Cabrera drew a walk. Prince Fielder struck out, but Martinez’s line drive cleared the wall in right for his third career slam.
“It’s big, when you give an answer like that,” Martinez said. “It’s always big to come right back, especially with Max on the mound. Everybody knows how well he’s been throwing the ball.”
Scherzer allowed only two hits in the next four innings. In the fourth, Mike Carp’s tapper went for an infield hit, and he went to third on the play when Scherzer threw wildly to first for an error. Carp was stranded after Daniel Nava’s flyout.
Jose Iglesias appeared to have a double in the fifth, but he stumbled past second base while beating Hunter’s throw from right field and was tagged out.
Ortiz hit a drive in the sixth that Jackson ran down in deep left-center. Scherzer struck out his final batter in the seventh — Jarrod Saltalamacchia — for his sixth strikeout. He’s reached that mark in all 15 starts this year.
Scherzer lowered his ERA to 3.05. He’s received 7.84 runs of support per nine innings, the most in baseball.
The Tigers kept right on scoring Saturday. Andy Dirks singled, stole second and came home on Jackson’s single in the fourth. Webster was lifted with nobody on in the fifth, and Morales allowed a walk to Fielder, a run-scoring double by Martinez and an RBI single by Jhonny Peralta.
Infante’s homer in the seventh made it 9-2. Fielder hit into a bases-loaded double play in the eighth, bringing another run home.
Saltalamacchia hit an RBI single in the ninth.
MARINERS 7, ATHLETICS 5
SEATTLE — Nick Franklin had tiebreaking two-run single in the eighth inning for his third hit of the game, lifting the Mariners over the Athletics.
Brendan Ryan singled off Ryan Cook (1-1) to lead off the eighth. Ryan moved up on a wild pitch and advanced to third on Endy Chavez’s bunt single. Chavez took second on indifference before Franklin delivered a hit to right field to put the Mariners ahead by two.
Raul Ibanez hit a three-run homer off Jerry Blevins in the seventh to pull Seattle to 5-all.
Yoervis Medina (2-2) earned the victory with 2 1-3 scoreless innings to close out the game.
PIRATES 6, ANGELS 1
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Francisco Liriano took a shutout into the seventh inning, Andrew McCutchen, Pedro Alvarez and Gaby Sanchez hit solo homers and left fielder Starling Marte threw a runner out at the plate, leading the Pirates to a victory over the Angels.
Liriano (6-3) allowed a run and seven hits in 6 2-3 innings, struck out six and walked three. The Angels’ run came in the seventh, when rookie J.B. Shuck hit a ground-rule double just inside the right field line and Mike Trout drove him in with a two-out single.
Jerome Williams (5-3) gave up five runs — four earned — and eight hits over six innings in his eighth start of the season and first since June 12.
BLUE JAYS 4, ORIOLES 2
TORONTO — Jose Bautista hit a tiebreaking home run in the eighth inning and the Blue Jays won their 10th straight game.
Maicer Izturis hit a solo homer in the fifth and Bautista had a two-run drive for Toronto, on its longest winning streak since a 10-game run late in 2008. The Blue Jays, who are 14-4 this month, are one victory from matching the franchise record. Toronto had 11-game winning streaks in 1987 and 1998.
The Blue Jays led 2-1 heading into the eighth but Taylor Teagarden tied it with a homer off reliever Darren Oliver (3-1).
YANKEES 7, RAYS 5
NEW YORK — Vernon Wells broke out of his big slump with a pinch-hit, three-run double, and the Yankees rallied to beat the Rays.
Wells was in a 9-for-87 slide that landed him on the bench the past two days, with rookie outfielder Zoilo Almonte starting in his place. But with the Yankees trailing 5-4 in the seventh inning, Wells batted for No. 9 hitter Chris Stewart with the bases loaded and two outs.
Wells’ clutch hit got CC Sabathia (8-5) off the hook after he allowed five runs in seven innings. Mariano Rivera worked a scoreless ninth for his 26th save.
WHITE SOX 3, ROYALS 2
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Alejandro De Aza drove in Jordan Danks with a sacrifice fly in the ninth inning, sending the White Sox to a victory over the Royals.
Jesse Crain (2-1) got through a shaky eighth inning for the White Sox, putting a runner on third with one out and then leaving him there. Addison Reed handled a perfect ninth for his 21st save.
Crain extended his club record with his 29th consecutive scoreless appearance.
INDIANS 8, TWINS 7
CLEVELAND — Michael Bourn had three hits and three RBIs to help Corey Kluber win his third consecutive start as the Indians won their fourth straight.
Cleveland took advantage of five first-inning walks to score six runs. Jason Kipnis added three hits to pace the Indians, who are 8-2 since losing eight in a row.
Kluber (6-4) gave up three runs in 5 2-3 innings. The right-hander has allowed four earned runs in 21 2-3 innings in his last three starts.
Rangers 4, Cardinals 2. Updates. With AP Photos.
RANGERS 4, CARDINALS 2
ST. LOUIS — Nelson Cruz got the decisive hit for the second straight game with a two-run homer in the third inning and Martin Perez prevailed in a matchup of rookie starters.
Shelby Miller (8-5) allowed two homers for the second time in three starts and didn’t make it out of the sixth against the team the Cardinals beat in the 2011 World Series making its first regular-season visit to Busch Stadium.
A.J. Pierzynski also hit a two-run homer for Texas, which goes for a three-game sweep on Sunday night with Nick Tepesch (3-6, 4.84) facing Adam Wainwright (10-4, 2.37). The first two games have been sellouts and the finale was supposed to be a matchup of aces, but the Rangers are saving Yu Darvish for the Yankees Tuesday in New York.
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