DETROIT - Max Scherzer became the fourth pitcher of this century to begin a season 15-1 with six innings of one-hit ball on his 29th birthday, and Miguel Cabrera marked his return to the lineup with a home run and three RBI Saturday night to power the Detroit Tigers to a 10-0 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies, who now have lost seven in a row.
Scherzer gave up a booming two-out double to center in the second inning, but that was the only baserunner he allowed as he retired the final 13 batters he faced. Al Alburquerque allowed one hit in the two innings he worked and Evan Reed pitched the ninth to complete the shutout. The Phillies have scored just 10 runs in their seven defeats.
Jered Weaver began the 2012 season 15-1 for the Los Angeles Angels, Ubaldo Jimenez had the same record in 2010 for Colorado and Roger Clemens was likewise for the 2001 New York Yankees.
Raul Valdes (1-1) started for Cliff Lee, who had a stiff neck, and was rocked for five runs in the first inning as Cabrera triggered the onslaught with a home run on the third pitch he saw after a four-game absence. Cabrera played only the first four innings before Ramon Santiago replaced him at the start of the fifth.
Cabrera drove in his third run of the game and 99th of the season in the fourth. Torii Hunter led off the inning with a double and reached third when right fielder Laynce Nix bobbled the ball for an error. Cabrera grounded to short to get the run in.
Hunter added a sacrifice fly in the fifth to make it 10-0.
The Tigers upped their lead to 8-0 in the second with Cabrera getting an RBI single and Victor Martinez lining a two-run single to left center.
Valdes retired the first two batters he faced to open the game before disaster struck.
Cabrera pumped out his 32nd home run of the season in his first at-bat after missing four games with an abdominal strain. Prince Fielder and Martinez followed with singles, Jhonny Peralta squeezed an RBI single through the left side and Matt Tuiasosopo unloaded his seventh home run of the season to get Detroit off to a 5-0 start.
NOTES: Detroit was 3-1 in the four games that Cabrera missed. ... Phillies manager Charlie Manuel is in the final year of his contract and faces an uncertain future with the Phillies possibly finishing below .500 for the first time since 2002. "I'm going to be somewhere," he said. "How about that? We'll see. It's OK. I've got good options." ... Tigers LHP Darin Downs (left shoulder soreness) will make a rehab appearance on Sunday for Triple-A Toledo. His return to Detroit after that is not automatic. ... Phillies RHP Mike Adams, on the disabled list since June 21 with multiple right shoulder muscle tears, will have shoulder surgery next week that will keep him out of action for at least the remainder of the season. He appeared in 28 games for Philadelphia this season, going 1-4 with a 3.96 ERA out of the bullpen.