Max Scherzer pitched seven strong innings and the AL Central-leading Tigers hit three homers in a 4-1 victory over the second-place Cleveland Indians last night in Detroit.
Scherzer (13-7) allowed one run, five hits, and a walk while throwing a career-high 127 pitches.
Joaquin Benoit and Jose Valverde finished, with the latter pitching the ninth for his 36th save in as many opportunities.
Josh Tomlin (12-6) took the loss, giving up four runs and six hits in 6 2/3 innings.
Detroit made it 4-1 in the seventh when Alex Avila, catching for the 13th straight game because of Victor Martinez’s sore knee, hit a two-out, 400-foot homer. Jhonny Peralta then hit the next pitch for his 18th homer.
Yankees 8, Twins 1 - Phil Hughes allowed just two hits in 7 2/3 innings and Russell Martin hit two home runs as New York routed host Minnesota.
Hughes (4-4) gave up one run, walked three, and struck out two in his longest outing of the season. Martin hit a solo homer in the third and a two-run shot in the sixth, his fourth career multihomer game.
Mark Teixeira added two hits and three RBIs for the Yankees.
Trevor Plouffe hit a solo homer in the first inning, but Hughes put the Twins on ice the rest of the way.
Rangers 7, White Sox 4 - Josh Hamilton hit a tiebreaking homer in the sixth inning, Mitch Moreland connected for a three-run shot in the fourth and a two-run drive in the sixth, and Texas rolled over host Chicago.
Moreland tied his career high with five RBIs for the Rangers, who rallied for their 10th win in 12 games despite another shaky performance from starter Matt Harrison.
Dodgers 8, Rockies 2 - Hiroki Kuroda pitched six strong innings for his first career win against host Colorado, and Rod Barajas and Tony Gwynn each hit home runs for Los Angeles.
The last three innings were played in a light rain and included the ejection of the Dodgers’ Matt Kemp in the ninth by first base umpire Ted Barrett. The umpire ruled Kemp had gone around for a third strike rather than checked his swing and Kemp registered his disagreement by standing at the plate in a show of disbelief before slowly walking back toward the dugout.
Rays 3, Mariners 2 - Evan Longoria and Ben Zobrist each had run-scoring singles with two outs in the eighth inning as Tampa Bay edged Seattle in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Felix Hernandez (11-11) took a one-hitter into the eighth.
Nationals 8, Phillies 4 - Ryan Zimmerman hit a grand slam on a full count with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, capping a six-run inning as Washington came back from two runs down to beat Philadelphia.
Reds 11, Pirates 8 - Joey Votto hit his 21st homer and later scored the winning run in the top of the ninth to lead Cincinnati past Pittsburgh after a 41-minute rain delay.
Braves 4, Diamondbacks 2 - Host Atlanta did all its scoring with the long ball and Derek Lowe (7-11) combined with four relievers on a six-hitter to defeat Arizona.
Cubs 5, Cardinals 4 - Tyler Colvin’s RBI single in the 10th inning lifted host Chicago.
Astros 6, Giants 0 - Wandy Rodriguez pitched eight innings and had a two-run single to help host Houston win its third straight.
Angels 8, Orioles 3 - Torii Hunter drove in five runs with two homers that extended his hitting streak to 17 games, helping host Los Angeles wipe out Baltimore.
Athletics 2, Blue Jays 0 - Rich Harden matched his career high with 11 strikeouts and Josh Willingham hit a two-run homer for host Oakland.
Brewers 6, Mets 1 - Prince Fielder hit a pair of RBI singles and later confronted New York reliever Tim Byrdak after an inside pitch, and visiting Milwaukee waited out a rain delay of nearly three hours to get the win.
Padres 4, Marlins 3 - Kyle Blanks hit a two-run homer and made a great catch in left field to lift host San Diego over reeling Florida, which lost for the 13th time in 15 games.