Detroit, MI (SportsNetwork.com) - Max Scherzer hurled eight scoreless frames and fanned nine to lead the Detroit Tigers to a 2-0 win over the Houston Astros in the opener of a four-game set.
Scherzer (4-1) picked up his fourth straight win, allowing just three hits and one walk. He has struck out seven or more in each of his seven starts this season and fanned 35 over his last 27 innings.
Joe Nathan pitched around a leadoff walk in the ninth to earn his sixth save of the season.
Victor Martinez hit a solo homer and Rajai Davis had an RBI single for the Tigers, who have outscored their opponents 37-12 during their six-game winning streak.
"Anytime we're on a streak like this and we're playing well as a team, it's great," Scherzer said.
The Astros managed just three singles.
Houston starter Jarred Cosart (1-3) allowed an unearned run on four hits and three walks over seven innings while striking out three.
"(Scherzer) is a Cy Young winner for a reason, but I felt like Jarred did a great job of matching him pitch for pitch," said Astros manager Bo Porter.
In the ninth, Nathan walked Dexter Fowler to start the inning. After an 0-2 slider hit the dirt, Fowler broke for second. However, Alex Avila fielded the ball cleanly and threw him out. The play was challenged and the ruling was upheld. Nathan then retired the next two batters to seal the win.
Detroit ended the scoreless stalemate in the seventh. Nick Castellanos reached first on an error and Avila walked before Andrew Romine advanced the runners with a sacrifice bunt. Davis then found a hole on the left side of the drawn- in infield to plate Castellanos. Ian Kinsler then grounded into a double play, ending the threat.
The Astros put two men on base in the top of the eighth, but failed to score.
Martinez notched the lone extra base hit of the game with a solo blast in the eighth. Martinez powered a 2-2 slider into the first row in right-center.