7:08 PM ET, July 27, 2013
Comerica Park, Detroit, Michigan
Max Scherzer claims 15th win as Tigers roll past slumping Phillies
DETROIT -- Miguel Cabrera figured he'd try to play after missing four games because of a hip problem.
In his first plate appearance back, he homered -- a feat so impressive teammate Max Scherzer found it downright amusing.
"I laugh every day," Scherzer said. "It can be a pitcher throwing his `out' pitch in the right location, and he'll hit it for a home run. It just doesn't surprise you, anything he does. He's obviously the best."
Cabrera's first-inning homer was the start of an early offensive outburst, and the Detroit Tigers went on to a 10-0 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday night. Scherzer allowed only one hit in six innings to become baseball's first 15-game winner.
The Phillies lost their seventh in a row.
"That wasn't much fun," Philadelphia's Chase Utley said. "They came out with hot bats and we came out facing one of the best pitchers in baseball."
Scherzer (15-1) threw only 75 pitches -- he was one of several stars pulled early after the game got out of hand. Detroit scored five runs in the first and three in the second off Raul Valdes (1-1), who started because Cliff Lee was out with a stiff neck.
Cabrera's solo homer in the first was his 32nd of the year, and he later added two more RBIs to increase his season total to 99. Matt Tuiasosopo hit a three-run homer in the first.
The Tigers remain three games ahead of second-place Cleveland in the AL Central. The Phillies, meanwhile, are now 10 back of NL East-leading Atlanta.
Detroit outhit Philadelphia 15-2.
Valdes had been used exclusively as a reliever this year, and his first start since June 27, 2012, did not go well. He actually retired his first two batters before Cabrera -- back after missing some time while his left hip recovered -- went deep to put Detroit ahead 1-0.
"I'm feeling OK, so I was thinking, try to go out there and try to go and play," Cabrera said. "I don't want to do too much today -- wanted to make something happen. I tried to make sure I made contact with the ball."
Prince Fielder, Victor Martinez and Jhonny Peralta followed with consecutive singles -- Peralta's hit brought home another run -- and Tuiasosopo hit his seventh homer of the year, to the bushes beyond the wall in center field.
Cabrera added an RBI single in the second, and Martinez's two-run single made it 8-0.
Cabrera came out of the game in the fifth, and he wasn't the only one who didn't stick around for the full nine innings. Fielder and Philadelphia's Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley were among the players pulled early.
Tigers manager Jim Leyland said he took Cabrera out as a precaution as the slugger works his way back from his injury. Scherzer was also allowed a bit of extra rest because of the big lead.
"It gives me a chance to regroup," said Scherzer, who celebrated his 29th birthday Saturday. "It was a 10-0 game, and there really wasn't much more to accomplish in the game tonight."
The only baserunner Scherzer allowed was Darin Ruf, whose second-inning double was nearly caught by Austin Jackson in center. Scherzer struck out seven, and the Detroit All-Star again got plenty of run support. Detroit has backed Scherzer with an MLB-best average of 7.64 runs.
"That's why I love being in Detroit," Scherzer said. "If you go out and pitch well, you have a good chance to win the ballgame. Obviously, I was able to pitch effectively tonight, and obviously, these guys came out chomping at the bit."
Cabrera hit an RBI groundout in the fourth. Valdes was finally pulled after allowing nine runs and 12 hits in 3 2/3 innings. He struck out three.
The game started after a 47-minute rain delay. The game itself took only 2:25. ... Tuiasosopo snapped an 0-for-10 skid with his homer. ... The Tigers go for a three-game sweep Sunday when RHP Rick Porcello (7-6) takes on Philadelphia RHP Jonathan Pettibone (5-4).
DETROIT, MI - JULY 27: Right fielder Laynce Nix #19 of the Philadelphia Phillies, right, collides with second...(Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
Regular Season Series
|1st||M Cabrera homered to left (421 feet).||0||1|
|1st||J Peralta singled to left, P Fielder scored, V Martinez to second.||0||2|
|1st||M Tuiasosopo homered to center (438 feet), V Martinez and J Peralta scored.||0||5|
|2nd||M Cabrera singled to left, A Avila scored, T Hunter to second.||0||6|
|2nd||V Martinez singled to center, T Hunter and M Cabrera scored.||0||8|
|4th||M Cabrera grounded out to shortstop, T Hunter scored.||0||9|
|5th||T Hunter hit sacrifice fly to center, H Perez scored.||0||10|
|View complete Play-By-Play|
|Stadium||Comerica Park, Detroit, MI|
|Attendance||41,970 (101.7% full) - % is based on regular season capacity|
|Weather||62 degrees, partly cloudy|
|Umpires||Home Plate - Paul Schrieber, First Base - Chad Fairchild, Second Base - Jeff Kellogg, Third Base - Eric Cooper|
From Elias: Max Scherzer has struck out at least 5 batters in each of his 21 starts this season, the 3rd-longest such streak to begin a season by an AL pitcher all-time.[+]
Max Scherzer is third starter in the last 60 seasons to win a game by allowing 1 hit or fewer on his birthday. The other 2 are an obscure combo-- Milt Wilcox for the 1982 Tigers (against the Royals) and Vicente Palacios for the 1994 Cardinals (against the Astros). On a simpler note, Scherzer is the second starting pitcher to win a game on his birthday this season, joining Hisashi Iwakuma
The Tigers scored at least 10 runs in a game for the 11th time this season on Saturday, tied for the most such games in the American League and second most in the majors, trailing only the Cardinals (13 times). The Tigers scored 10 or more runs in a game eight times all of last season.
Max Scherzer needed just 75 pitches to get win number 15 tonight, that's the fewest pitches he's needed to record a win in his career (163 appearances).
Miguel Cabrera went 2-3 with a HR Saturday, continuing his success this season with Max Scherzer on the mound. It was his both his ninth HR and ninth multi-hit game in 21 Scherzer starts this season.[+]
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