CLEVELAND -- Max Scherzer became baseball's first 17-game winner and the Detroit Tigers posted their 12th straight victory, routing the Cleveland 10-3 Thursday night.
Miguel Cabrera drove in three runs as the AL Central leaders completed a four-game sweep and opened a seven-game lead over the Indians.
Scherzer (17-1) allowed two runs and four hits in seven innings. He helped the Tigers beat Cleveland for the 12th time in their last 13 meetings.
The Tigers have won 12 in a row for the first time since Sept. 2-14, 2011.
Coupled with a 13-game winning streak by idle Atlanta, this marks the first time in major league history that two teams have had winning streaks of at least 12 games at the same time during a season since May 16, 1884, STATS said. That was the only other time it occurred – the St. Louis Maroons had won 15 straight, the New York Gothams had taken 12 in a row.
Cleveland's futility for the series was summed up when manager Terry Francona let utilityman Ryan Raburn pitch the ninth inning. Raburn retired three straight hitters, striking out Matt Tuiasosopo, in his professional pitching debut and drew a standing ovation.
Cabrera drew a bases-loaded walk during a six-run third and hit a two-run single in the fifth, giving him 105 RBIs this season.
That gave Scherzer a huge cushion. He retired the first nine hitters, struck out five and one. He also recorded the 1,000th strikeout of his career when he fanned Jason Kipnis to end the first.
Scherzer threw 100 pitches, and left with a 2.84 ERA this year. The right-hander is 4-0, allowing four earned runs in 28 1-3 innings, since starting for the AL in the All-Star game.
Zach McAllister (4-7) allowed six runs in 2 1-3 innings, his shortest start of the season.
Asdrubal Cabrera drove in Cleveland's only runs off Scherzer with RBI doubles in the fourth and sixth.
McAllister's short outing forced Francona to empty his bullpen, which was already taxed by Wednesday's 14-inning game. Preston Guilmet, Matt Albers and Marc Rzepczynski got the Indians through the eighth but manager Terry Francona needed one more arm for the ninth.
The 25,131 fans cheered wildly when Raburn fanned Tuiasosopo and retired Hernan Perez and Brayan Pena on groundouts. Raburn became the first position player to pitch for the Indians since Andy Marte threw one inning against the Yankees on July 29, 2010.
The series was billed as a battle between the division's two top teams, but the Tigers sent a clear message.
Detroit rallied off Indians closer Chris Perez in the ninth inning for a 4-2 win on Monday. Justin Verlander allowed one run in eight dominant innings in Tuesday's 5-1 victory. Cabrera's home run off rookie Danny Salazar was the key blow Wednesday and the Tigers went on to win 6-5 in 14 innings.
With the momentum clearly on their side, the Tigers struck early in the finale, sending 11 batters to the plate in the third. Cabrera walked for Detroit's first run before Prince Fielder and Victor Martinez added two-run doubles.
NOTES: Tigers CF Austin Jackson took an extra-base hit away from Nick Swisher in the first when he ran down a drive in front of the wall in left-center. 1B Fielder made a leaping backhand grab of Asdrubal Cabrera's line drive in the second. ... Detroit SS Jose Iglesias was scratched from the lineup because of a bruised left toe. He was spiked while taking a throw at second Wednesday. ... Tiger OF Torii Hunter was given the day off. "Torii is 38 years old and played 14 innings yesterday, so that's a no-brainer to me," manager Jim Leyland said. ... Leyland said Fielder had the option of being the DH, but chose to play the field. ... The Tigers continue their 10-game road trip with a three-game series against the Yankees. Detroit RHP Rick Porcello (8-6) faces New York RHP Ivan Nova (5-4) on Friday night. ... The Indians wrap up their seven-game homestand with a three-game series against the Angels. Cleveland LHP Scott Kazmir (7-4) takes on Los Angeles RHP Jered Weaver (6-5) in the opener Friday.
Home Runs - His <a href="http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1703742-chris-davis-ties-record-for-most-homers-by-al-player-before-all-star-break" target="_blank">37 homers are the most in MLB history</a> before the All-Star break since 2001 when Barry Bonds hit 39. He also broke the Orioles' franchise record <a href="http://baltimore.orioles.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130714&content_id=53734828¬ebook_id=53743366&vkey=notebook_bal&c_id=bal" target="_blank">along with tying the American League</a> for most homers before the break. 1st 4 Games - Davis became <a href="http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/04/05/chris-davis-becomes-fourth-player-in-mlb-history-to-homer-in-first-four-games-of-season/" target="_blank">the 4th player in MLB history</a> to hit a homer in each of the first four games of the season.
Gerrit Cole became the first pitcher in MLB history to defeat two Cy Young winners in each of his first two starts, per <a href="https://twitter.com/ESPNStatsInfo/status/346523671269081088" target="_blank">ESPN Stats & Info</a>. He defeated <a href="http://espn.go.com/mlb/boxscore?id=330611123" target="_blank">San Francisco's Tim Lincecum</a> in his debut and then <a href="http://espn.go.com/mlb/boxscore?id=330616123" target="_blank">Zack Greinke in his second start</a>.
After winning the Triple Crown in 2012, Cabrera is on pace to hit .365 with 51 HR and 163 RBI. <a href="https://twitter.com/ESPNStatsInfo/status/357913013501706241" target="_blank">According to ESPN Stats & Info</a>, Babe Ruth and Jimmie Foxx are the only players with a .360/50/160 season. Oh, and <a href="http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130716/SPORTS0104/307160024/1004/SPORTS/Home-run-leader-Chris-Davis-marvels-at-Tigers--Miguel-Cabrera" target="_blank">he's only seven homers behind Chris Davis</a> right now. So he's also in the hunt for a second straight Triple Crown.
Hits - Puig's 44 hits in June were the most in a debut month since Joe DiMaggio had 48 in 1936. More History: He was the 1st player ever with 34 hits and seven homers in his 1st 20 career games, <a href="https://twitter.com/ESPNStatsInfo/status/349396672167682048" target="_blank">per Elias</a>. His 15 RBI through his first four games<a href="https://twitter.com/ESPNStatsInfo/status/343213213548154880" target="_blank"> tied the MLB record</a> held by Jack Merson and Danny Espinosa. He became the first player since 1900 to have 27 hits and five homers <a href="https://twitter.com/espn/status/347732770551906306" target="_blank">through his first 15 career games. </a>
Doubles - Machado hit 38 doubles before the end of June, one shy of the most since 1921, via <a href="https://twitter.com/EddieInTheYard/status/351509674341830657" target="_blank">Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun</a>. He is just off the pace needed to break the single-season doubles record of 67 (as of 7/18, ESPN Stats & Info has him finishing with a projected 66). 3-Hit Games: He leads the league with 14 three-hit games, per <a href="https://twitter.com/ESPNStatsInfo/status/355152727703158785" target="_blank">ESPN Stats & Info.</a>
Wins - <a href="http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/blog/eye-on-baseball/22627281/max-scherzer-becomes-first-pitcher-since-1986-to-start-season-130" target="_blank">Max Scherzer is the first pitcher</a> to start the season 13-0 since <a href="https://twitter.com/ESPNStatsInfo/status/352785712556421121" target="_blank">Roger Clemens did so in 1986</a>. According to Elias (<a href="https://twitter.com/ESPNStatsInfo/status/350799658081202177" target="_blank">via ESPN Stats & Info</a>), Scherzer is the first pitcher ever to go undefeated in his first 16 starts of the season while recording at least 120 strikeouts.
4-Hit Games: Mike Trout's eight four-hit games are the most by a player before turning 22 years old since Al Kaline had nine in 1956, <a href="http://proxy.espn.go.com/espn/elias?date=20130628" target="_blank">according to Elias. </a>
The Red Sox slugger notched his <a href="http://bostonherald.com/sports/red_sox_mlb/clubhouse_insider/2013/07/david_ortiz_breaks_harold_baines_record_for_hits_by_a" target="_blank">1,689th hit as a DH</a>, passing Harold Baines for the most all time.
Harper will be the first position player in league history to play in two MLB All-Star games before turning 21, <a href="https://twitter.com/ESPNStatsInfo/status/353892523439169537" target="_blank">according to ESPN Stats & Info.</a>
Andy Pettitte's Ks
Andy Pettitte passed Whitey Ford <a href="http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/07/01/andy-pettitte-passes-whitey-ford-for-first-on-yankees-all-time-strikeout-list/" target="_blank">as the Yankees' all-time strikeout leader</a> with 1,958, which came against Minnesota's Justin Morneau.
With 24 homers at the All Star break and a projected pace of 41, Ibanez is primed to <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/mlb/2013/6/27/4469322/raul-ibanez-home-run-record-mariners-age-41" target="_blank">shatter the record</a> for most home runs in a single season after the age of 40 (Ted Williams hit 29).
The Astros slugger is a promising young player, but his lack of plate discipline and historic strikeout rates are red flags. Carter is on pace to be punched out 218 times this season, just five short of the <a href="http://www.baseball-almanac.com/hitting/histrk2.shtml" target="_blank">223 times record-holder Mark Reynolds struck out in 2009</a>.
Doug Fister has been <a href="http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/36884/doug-fister-is-hitting-a-lot-of-batters" target="_blank">hitting an eye-opening number of batters</a> this year. He has 13 HBP. While the all time record (41 in a dead-ball era season) is untouchable, the modern era record of 21 batters hit is very much in sight.
A.J. Burnett's Rosin Bag Explosions
Two rosin bags <a href="http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/blog/eye-on-baseball/22683109/video-aj-burnett-and-the-revenge-of-the-rosin-bag" target="_blank">have exploded on Burnett </a>before the All-Star break. That has to be a record.