CLEVELAND — Max Scherzer gave up two runs over seven innings and got plenty of help from Detroit’s hitters as the Tigers completed a four-game sweep of the Cleveland Indians with a 10-3 victory Thursday night.
The Tigers have won 12 games in a row and 16 of 17 while taking a commanding lead seven-game lead over the second-place Indians in the American League Central race. Detroit outscored Cleveland 25-11 in the series.
Scherzer allowed four hits and one walk while running his record to 17-1, the best mark in Tigers history for a pitcher in his first 18 decisions. The previous record of 16-2 was accomplished twice, by Bobo Newsom in 1940 and by Denny McLain in 1968.
Scherzer, who picked up his 1,000th career strikeout in the first inning, retired the first nine batters he faced. By the time the Indians got their first hit, they were already trailing 6-0.
The right-hander threw 100 pitches, 71 of them strikes. He struck out five.
Ex-Indian Victor Martinez went 2-for-5 with three RBIs for Detroit, and Miguel Cabrera added three RBIs.
The series came to an ignominious conclusion for Cleveland as outfielder Ryan Raburn pitched the ninth inning. Raburn retired the side in order, on two groundouts and a swinging strikeout of Matt Tuiasosopo.
The Tigers blew the game open and knocked Cleveland starter Zach McAllister out of the game with a six-run third inning in which Detroit sent 12 men to the plate.
McAllister (4-7) walked Ramon Santiago to start the inning, then gave up a single the Hernan Perez. Austin Jackson walked to load the bases with no outs.
McAllister rallied briefly to strikeout Andy Dirks, but Miguel Cabrera walked, forcing in Santiago with the first run of the game. Prince Fielder followed with a two-run double to make it 3-0. Martinez then singled home two more runs. Cleveland made two errors on a grounder hit by Santiago, allowing the sixth run of the inning to score.
RBI singles by Dirks and Martinez in the fourth inning made it 8-0 before Cleveland finally got on the board with a run on an RBI single by Asdrubal Cabrera in the bottom of the fourth.
Miguel Cabrera added to the rout with a two-run single to make it 10-1 in the fifth.
McAllister allowed six runs (five earned) in 2 1/3 innings.
NOTES: Prior to game, the Indians designated for assignment slumping INF Mark Reynolds, who is tied for the team lead in home runs with 15 but was hitting .187 since May 1. RHP Preston Guilmet was recalled from Triple-A Columbus, where he had a 1.95 ERA in 42 relief appearances. Guilmet pitched 2 2/3 innings after McAllister’s exit, allowing four runs. … Tigers SS Jose Iglesias was a late scratch from the starting lineup due to a left big toe contusion. … Through Wednesday, Detroit closer Joaquin Benoit had a 1.08 ERA over his past 26 appearances dating to May 28.