Tigers 12, White Sox 5: Torii Hunter went 4-for-5 with three RBIs and Max Scherzer became the first 20-game winner in the majors this season as host Detroit moved a step closer to locking up its third straight American League Central crown.
Scherzer (20-3) allowed three runs on six hits over six innings in his fifth bid for his 20th victory. The 29-year-old struck out three and won for the first time since Aug. 24.
Andy Dirks went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and Victor Martinez and Prince Fielder each added two hits and drove in two as the Tigers lowered their magic number to clinch the AL Central to three. Detroit leads second-place Cleveland by six games.
The Tigers jumped all over spot starter Dylan Axelrod (4-10) for seven runs and 10 hits in 2 2/3 innings. Dirks' two-run single in the bottom of the first made it 2-1, and Hunter added an RBI double in the second and plated two with a single in the four-run third.
Detroit put up another big inning in the fifth, scoring five times on Fielder's two-run single, Martinez's two-run homer and Omar Infante's RBI triple. Former Tigers prospect Avisail Garcia had a two-run homer and an RBI triple for the White Sox, who have lost 17 of 21 overall and dropped to 6-11 against Detroit.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Axelrod was pressed into action when the White Sox scratched scheduled starter Andre Rienzo because of a blister on his right ring finger. … Garcia returned to the lineup after missing four games following the birth of his daughter. … Tigers SS Jose Iglesias sat out with a bruised left hand suffered when he was hit with a pitch by Seattle's Tom Wilhelmsen on Thursday. He is listed as day-to-day.