Detroit, MI (Sports Network) - Ryan Raburn made the most of a rare opportunity to bat leadoff, going 2-for-4 with a home run, two runs scored and four RBI to lead the Tigers over the Nationals, 7-4, in the opener of a three-game series.
Magglio Ordonez (oblique) returned from a six-game absence and had four hits, a run scored and an RBI to complement Raburn, who was starting in place of the injured Austin Jackson and hit a go-ahead three-run homer in the fifth.
Max Scherzer (3-6) struck out nine in six innings and was credited with the win after giving up four runs -- three earned -- on seven hits and two walks for the Tigers, who were coming off a three-game sweep of the Pirates.
Washington's John Lannan (2-4) was pelted for seven runs -- six earned -- on 10 hits and four walks in just 4 1/3 innings. It's the second straight start in which the left-hander did not made it through five frames.
Josh Willingham went 2-for-3 with a walk and an RBI, while Mike Morse added a solo homer for the Nats, who have dropped three of four following their own sweep of Pittsburgh.
The Tigers broke a 4-4 tie in the fifth, as Gerald Laird singled to lead off, Danny Worth reached on Cristian Guzman's error and Raburn crushed a 1-0 fastball into the left field bleachers for his first home run of the season.
Scherzer, Phil Coke and Joel Zumaya combined to shut the Nationals down in order from the sixth through the eighth. Jose Valverde closed it out in the ninth by getting Nyjer Morgan to ground out to second with two runners on for his 14th save of the season.
Morgan manufactured a run almost single-handedly in the away first. The speedster reached on a bunt single, swiped second, advanced to third when Laird's throw hit off his left hip before trickling to the outfield, then slid in front of Ordonez's throw home on Ryan Zimmerman's fly to short right.
The Tigers loaded the bases with no outs in the second but only got one run across when Scherzer walked Raburn to force in Brandon Inge with one out.
Consecutive two-out, RBI singles by Willingham and Ivan Rodriguez in the third gave the Nats a 3-1 edge.
Miguel Cabrera led off the bottom half with a double and scored two batters later on a fielder's choice grounder from Carlos Guillen.
Morse's leadoff blast in the fourth restored the two-run lead, but the Tigers answered with a pair in their next at-bat, as Ordonez's one-out double and Guillen's sacrifice fly plated Raburn and Ordonez, respectively, to tie it.