The Detroit Tigers held off a late rally to beat the Toronto Blue Jays 5-3 on Tuesday night to open a three-game series at Comerica Park.
Detroit starter Max Scherzer (13-6) allowed just one run in seven innings while logging eight strikeouts to earn the win. Closer Jose Valverde held on for a scoreless ninth inning to record his 24th save of the season.
The Tigers took advantage of some control problems by Toronto starting pitcher Ricky Romero to jump out to an early lead. Romero walked eight batters in 5.1 innings. Romero walked Delmon Young with the bases loaded in the first inning to give Detroit the lead, then gave up another bases-loaded walk in the second inning.
Second baseman Omar Infante singled in a run in the sixth inning, followed by a sacrifice fly by Miguel Cabrera to score another run to extend the lead to 5-1.
The Blue Jays rallied for two runs in the top of the eighth inning before Joaquin Benoit came out of the bullpen to stop the rally.
With the win, Detroit keeps pace with the Chicago White Sox in the AL Central as well as the four-team AL Wild Card race. The two teams resume the series on Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. ET.