By NOAH TRISTER/AP Baseball Writer
DETROIT (AP) – Max Scherzer took a shutout into the eighth inning before being pulled, and the Detroit right-hander became baseball’s first 16-game winner when the Tigers held on for a 3-0 victory over the punchless Chicago White Sox on Saturday night.
The White Sox have lost nine straight. The Tigers have won 11 of 12, despite playing most of that stretch without slugger Miguel Cabrera.
Cabrera has been bothered by hip and abdominal problems and sat out Saturday.
Scherzer (16-1) allowed three hits in 7 2-3 innings. Jose Veras got the third out of the eighth, and Joaquin Benoit finished for his 12th save in 12 chances.
John Danks (2-9) allowed six hits in seven innings, including solo homers by Torii Hunter, Jhonny Peralta and Jose Iglesias.
Scherzer is the first pitcher to win at least 16 of his first 17 decisions since Roger Clemens started 16-1 in 2001, according to STATS. Scherzer walked three and struck out six – he’s now a strikeout short of 1,000 for his career.
Scherzer has been the beneficiary of a lot of run support this year, but he didn’t need much against the White Sox. Hunter opened the scoring with a homer to left in the first. Peralta – who faces a possible suspension from Major League Baseball’s drug investigation – made it 2-0 with a drive to the bushes beyond the center-field wall in the second.
Iglesias, acquired just before the trade deadline – partly as insurance against a possible suspension to Peralta – added a homer of his own in the fourth.
This was the second game with the Tigers for Iglesias. He hit one homer in 63 games for Boston this season.
The White Sox, meanwhile, got another sold start that they failed to take advantage of. The Chicago starters have a 2.72 ERA during this losing streak.
Chicago pinch-hitter Jordan Danks hit a long flyball in the eighth that center fielder Austin Jackson caught at the wall in left-center. When Veras came in, Alexei Ramirez jack-knifed out of the way on his first pitch – only to have the breaking ball drop across the heart of the plate for a strike.
The White Sox have scored two runs in their last three games.
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