Austin Jackson hit two triples and drove in two runs and Max Scherzer picked up his AL-leading eighth win as the Tigers drilled the Mariners 8-1 and caught Cleveland for for first place in the AL Central.
Detroit (35-29) had been in the middle of the AL Central for most of the season, but the Indians’ (34-28) recent struggles allowed the Tigers to make up ground.
Scherzer (8-3) pitched a gem after a string of bad outings. He went seven innings and gave up only one run on four hits. Jon Lester and Jake Arrieta have eight wins as well in the American League; teammate Justin Verlander is in fourth with seven.
Brennan Boesch and Victor Martinez each had three hits and a double for the Tigers, who now have a chance to win the four-game series tomorrow. It won’t be easy, as the Mariners will throw ace Felix Hernandez on the mound.
Michael Pineda (6-4) hasn’t exactly been a slouch for Seattle this season, but the Tigers got to him early on Martinez’s RBI single in the first inning. Miguel Olivo committed a throwing error in the frame as well that allowed Miguel Cabrera to score from third base to put Seattle in an early 2-0 hole.
Jackson tripled home Ramon Santiago from first base in second inning and Jhonny Peralta hit a two-run shot into the bullpen in left field in sixth inning to blow the game open.
Brendan Ryan hit a sacrifice fly in the top of the sixth to drive home Ichiro Suzuki, who led off the inning with a triple of his own for the Mariners’ lone run.