DETROIT -- Max Scherzer became baseball's first 20-game winner on Friday night and Torii Hunter drove in three runs with four hits to help the Detroit Tigers reduce their division-clinching magic number to three with a 12-5 victory over the Chicago White Sox in near-constant rain.
Scherzer (20-3) was making his fifth bid for his 20th victory and had just one perilous inning after the first, leaving the bases loaded in the fifth. He worked six innings, allowing six hits, one walk and three runs with three strikeouts.
Detroit broke the game open with a five-run fifth. Prince Fielder hit a two-run single off left-hander David Purcey, Victor Martinez followed with a two-run homer and Omar Infante added an RBI triple to Detroit's 18-hit attack.
Pinch-hitter Jeff Keppinger had an RBI double and Avisail Garcia hit an RBI triple as Chicago scored two in the eighth against reliever Jose Alvarez. Luke Putkonen finished up.
In the fourth inning, Garcia reached Scherzer for a two-run homer to left, his fifth home run of the season.
White Sox right-hander Dylan Alexrod (4-10) subbed for injured scheduled starter Andre Rienzo, who had a blister on his pitching hand, and was knocked around for 10 hits, nine of them singles, in 2 2/3 innings.
Alexrod was staked to a 1-0 lead in the first, but a bases-loaded, two-run ground single up the middle by Andy Dirks in the bottom half gave Detroit the lead for good.
Alejandro De Aza doubled off Scherzer to open the game, took third on a wild pitch and scored on Conor Gillaspie's sacrifice fly to deep center as light rain fell.
Detroit's Austin Jackson singled and Hunter doubled him home in the second to make it 3-1, and the Tigers erupted for four in the third during the continuing drizzle.
Alex Avila singled in a run, Hunter singled in two and Miguel Cabrera added an RBI single to hike the lead to 7-1.
NOTES: Detroit SS Jose Iglesias was held out of action after getting hit by a mid-90s fastball on the top of his left hand on Thursday. The hand is sore enough that Iglesias may not start Saturday, either. ... Garcia returned to the White Sox lineup after missing four games to attend the birth of his daughter. Teammate LF Dayan Viciedo, however, left to attend his child's birth. ... Tigers RHP Bruce Rondon took another step toward returning to game action, throwing a short bullpen session. He has not pitched since Sept. 2 because of a sore right elbow.