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The Grand Slam: Max Scherzer outduels Chris Sale, whirls first complete game

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It was a must-see pitching matchup and it didn't disappoint.

Max Scherzer and Chris Sale, two of the best pitchers in the American League, met Thursday as the Detroit Tigers took on the Chicago White Sox. When it was over, Scherzer had bested Sale. Just barely.

Let's put it like this: Sale struck out 10 and gave up five hits and one run in seven innings. And he lost! That means Scherzer was on point. He tossed a shutout, giving up just three hits and striking out eight, as the Tigers triumphed 4-0.

Here's some trivia: It was Scherzer's first career complete game, which set a record, as our friends at the Yahoo Sports Minute explain. Of all the pitchers to throw a complete game, no one in baseball history had thrown their first later in their career than Scherzer, who was making his 179th career start. It's a somewhat dubious record, but an interesting one nonetheless.

Are you surprised Scherzer had never thrown a complete game? His manager was.

''I was surprised when I found out that he had no complete games,'' Detroit manager Brad Ausmus said. ''But he wanted this one for sure. He was on his game tonight. He has a Cy Young for reason.''

Scherzer wasn't holding back his happiness:

''It's awesome,'' said Scherzer, who threw 113 pitches. ''I finally got the monkey off my back. I was finally able to go nine and finish the deal, so it's good feeling.''

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(Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

DEREK JETER HAS A BIG NIGHT: It's not too often these days that Derek Jeter is the offensive star for the New York Yankees. This being his farewell season, you've only got a few of these games left. Jeter had three hits, two RBIS and scored two runs in the Yankees' 6-3 win over the Seattle Mariners.

Seattle was a big stop on the Jeter farewell tour, mainly because he played his first career game there in 1995. It was a nice series all around for the Yankees, who won all three games.

CHRIS CARTER GIVES ASTROS A WALK-OFF WIN: More and more, the Houston Astros are proving themselves a fun team to watch. Their game Thursday against the Arizona Diamondbacks was just the latest example.

The 'Stros got a 10th inning walk-off homer from Chris Carter to seal a 5-4 win, rebounding after blowing a 4-1 lead. Rookie Jon Singleton hit another homer in the Astros win, and George Springer made a couple of highlight-reel catches

The scare of the night came when second baseman Jose Altuve left the game after getting hit in the hand while attempting a bunt. Altuve leads MLB in hits and tops the AL in stolen bases. He's quite a spark plug for the Astros. Lucky for them, X-rays were negative and Altuve is day-to-day.

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TIM HUDSON HELPS GIANTS FINALLY BEAT THE NATS: The San Francisco Giants snapped out of their recent funk, beating the Washington Nationals 7-1 and avoiding a four-game series sweep by the NL East leaders.

The Giants owe a big high-five to offseason free-agent signee Tim Hudson, whose sinkerball was doing all the right things en route to the win. He pitched seven innings, giving up one run on six hits. It was a welcome relief, considering the Nats had outscored the Giants 17-4 in their previous three games.

Hudson lowered his MLB-best ERA to 1.81, which is spectacular considering he's 38 and coming off a broken ankle. He's a big reason the Giants have the best record in baseball at 43-24, and he's proven himself worth every bit of the $11 million the Giants are paying him this season.

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Mike Oz is an editor for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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