Scherzer brilliant in Tigers' win over Pirates
Detroit, MI (SportsNetwork.com) - J.D. Martinez homered and knocked in two runs to back Max Scherzer's scoreless performance, as Detroit claimed a 5-2 victory over Pittsburgh in the finale of a four-game home-and-home interleague series.
Nick Castellanos added a late two-run hit and Victor Martinez drew three walks and scored a run for the Tigers, who rebounded for a split after winning both contests in Detroit.
Scherzer (14-4) fanned 14 over eight stellar innings, giving up two walks and three hits. The 30-year-old right-hander set a new season best, eclipsing the 13 strikeouts he recorded at Houston on June 28.
Gaby Sanchez hit a two-run homer for the Pirates, who committed three errors in losing for the fourth time in their last six.
Francisco Liriano (3-9) struck out nine over his six-inning outing, but issued four walks and allowed three hits and two runs in defeat.
The Tigers broke the game open in their final at-bat, scoring three times. Miguel Cabrera doubled with one out, Victor Martinez was given a free pass, then two batters later, Cabrera scored when Bucs second baseman Michael Martinez threw low to first on a J.D. Martinez grounder. Castellanos followed with a two-run single for a 5-0 game.
Phil Coke walked Travis Snider to kick off the ninth, then gave up a one-out pinch-hit blast to Sanchez which pulled the Bucs within 5-2. Joba Chamberlain finally locked down the victory by retiring the next two batters.
After making a catch at the left-field wall to rob Josh Harrison of extra bases in the fourth, J.D. Martinez broke the scoreless deadlock in the fifth by clearing the left-field wall for his 16th homer of the season.
A double from Rajai Davis and walks to Ian Kinsler and Victor Martinez in the home sixth loaded the bases with one out, and after Torii Hunter fanned, J.D. Martinez walked to force in Detroit's second run of the contest.
Scherzer, meanwhile, struck out the side in the first frame and recorded at least two strikeouts in the second, third and fifth innings.
Scherzer fanned at least 10 batters for the sixth time this season, and for the 24th time in his career ... Scherzer also worked at least eight innings for just the sixth time in 2014 and also recorded back-to-back eight-inning outings for the first time this year ... Following the contest, the Pirates claimed pitcher John Axford off waivers from the Cleveland Indians ... Both clubs are back in action on Friday, as Detroit continues its homestand against Seattle, while Pittsburgh heads to Washington.
08/14 16:58:20 ET