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PITTSBURGH -- Max Scherzer made only one mistake.
That's all it takes for the struggling Detroit Tigers to lose these days.
Pitching two days following the death of his brother, Scherzer allowed Andrew McCutchen's three-run homer and two other hits over six innings in a 4-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday.
"I can't imagine what he must have been feeling today," Tigers catcher Alex Avila said. "I don't know if any words can explain what he's going through right now. He pitched a great game, really pitched his heart out."
Scherzer (6-5) rejoined the team Saturday after being away the previous two days for what the team called personal reasons.
Schrader Funeral Homes and Crematory outside his native St. Louis and near his residence in the city's suburbs lists confirmed they will hold a service for Max's brother Alex Scherzer. Alex Scherzer died Thursday at 24. The service is also listed on their Web site.
Through a team spokesman, Scherzer politely declined to speak with reporters. In what was a subdued postgame clubhouse, Tigers first baseman Price Fielder talked quietly with Scherzer.
"Everybody knows it was under real tough conditions but I just think it's best that we make that a private topic," Detroit manager Jim Leyland said.
"I really don't think it's my place to get into it."
Scherzer had seven strikeouts. Alex Presley doubled to lead off the fourth inning and Scherzer hit Jose Tabata with a pitch before McCutchen pulled an 0-2 pitch into the seats.
"Other than the three-run homer, I thought Max was great," Leyland said. "It's tough to make only one mistake and lose a ballgame, but we're just not scoring runs right now and we haven't for the last four or five games."
The Tigers were limited to one run and four hits for the second consecutive day in Pittsburgh and have scored five runs over their past four games. Detroit has lost three of four.
Brad Lincoln allowed two hits and a run in six innings for the Pirates, who won for the sixth time in seven games.
Lincoln (4-2) carried a no-hitter through five innings before Ramon Santiago singled to lead off the sixth. Moved into the rotation June 6, Lincoln had allowed 13 runs in 11⅔ innings in three previous starts -- all on the road.
Counting his time in the bullpen, Lincoln had pitched 15⅓ scoreless innings at PNC Park this season until Miguel Cabrera led off the seventh with a home run.
Mired in a major North American professional sports record streak of 19 consecutive losing seasons, the Pirates (38-32) moved a season-high six games over .500.
Lincoln had a career-high seven strikeouts and one walk.
"Our reports were that he had good stuff, and he showed it today," Avila said. "He had electric stuff. He pitched a great game. He really shut us down."
At one point over a span from the fourth inning into the seventh, Lincoln threw 21 consecutive strikes. Only 19 of his 79 pitches were balls.
"I was able to attack the zone, throw a lot of strikes and get guys out when I needed to," Lincoln said.
Notes: The Pirates have not had a no-hitter since July 12, 1997, when Francisco Cordova and Ricardo Rincon combined on a 10-inning no-hitter. The most recent solo Pittsburgh no-hitter came from John Candelaria on Aug. 9, 1976.