KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Max Scherzer won his ninth straight decision, and the Detroit Tigers beat Kansas City 3-2 to snap the Royals’ six-game winning streak on Tuesday night.
Scherzer became the first Tigers starter to begin the season 9-0 since Vern Kennedy in 1938 by pitching seven sharp innings.
He limited the Royals to three hits and two runs, while striking out six and walking two.
Aaron Crow (2-2), who was a college teammate of Scherzer’s at Missouri, took the loss after pitching out of a bases loaded jam in the seventh.
Crow hit Miguel Cabrera with a pitch to start the eighth. Cabrera advanced to third on Prince Fielder’s single to right on a full count and scored on Victor Martinez’s sacrifice fly to left. That was the first run allowed by the Kansas City bullpen in 21 innings.
Jose Valverde struggled in the ninth inning for his ninth save in 11 opportunities.
Salvador Perez led off with a single and Elliot Johnson ran for him and stole second on the first pitch.
Valverde struck out Billy Butler looking on a full-count pitch. Butler was ejected by plate umpire Jordan Baker for arguing the call. Valverde then retired Lorenzo Cain on an infield popup and David Lough on a grounder to preserve the victory.
Wade Davis, who is 1-5 in his past 10 starts, departed in eh seventh after giving up Omar Infante’s third hit. Davis permitted two runs on eight hits, while striking out five and walking one.
Tim Collins replaced Davis and allowed an 0-2 single to pinch hitter Avisail Garcia and walked Matt Tuiasosopo on five pitches to load the bases.
Crow was summoned to face Torii Hunter and struck him out on four pitches to end the inning.
Don Kelly’s single in the second scored Martinez with the first Detroit run. Infante scored on Andy Dirks’ fielder’s choice ground out in the fifth.
Lough homered, his first in the majors, off Scherzer (9-0) to lead off the bottom of the fifth. Alcides Escobar singled home Mike Moustakas with the second run of the inning to tie the score at 2-all.