Max Scherzer outpitched Chris Sale in a marquee matchup of All-Star starters, and the Detroit Tigers overcame Miguel Cabrera’s injury to beat the Chicago White Sox 7-3 on Monday night.
With one out in the bottom of the fifth inning, Cabrera was replaced at third base by Don Kelly. The 2012 AL MVP, who appeared to be holding his left side as he walked off the field, was removed with a sore hip flexor muscle and will be evaluated Tuesday.
Cabrera, who became baseball’s first Triple Crown winner in 45 years last season, has played in 97 of Detroit’s 98 games this year. He began the day leading the AL with a .359 batting average and 96 RBIs.
Scherzer (14-1) won his first 13 decisions before losing his last outing before he started the All-Star game for the American League last Tuesday night at Citi Field. He went eight innings Monday and allowed four hits while striking out five.
The right-hander, who didn’t allow a baserunner until Adam Dunn’s single with one out in the fifth, increased his league-leading strikeout total to 157.
The only two runs Scherzer gave up came on solo homers by Dayan Viciedo and Conor Gillaspie.
Victor Martinez had four hits and Torii Hunter homered in the seventh for Detroit, which lost two of three to Kansas City last weekend.
Sale followed Scherzer to the mound in the All-Star game and worked two scoreless innings. This time, the left-hander pitched eight innings and gave up four runs — two earned. He yielded seven hits while striking out 11.
Sale (6-9) has struck out at least 10 five times this season.
Chicago, which was trying to win three straight games for the first time since June 8-10, fell to 11-20 against AL Central teams. The White Sox allowed five unearned runs and made three more errors to reach 64 after committing 70 last year.
Scherzer entered with an average of 7.29 runs of support per start. Sale’s mark of 2.70 was the lowest in the majors.
Detroit singled twice with two outs in the third to take a 1-0 lead. After retiring the first two batters, Sale allowed Hunter’s hit and walked Cabrera before Prince Fielder’s RBI single to right drove in Hunter.
The Tigers scored two unearned runs in the fifth to make it 3-0 when Martinez singled up the middle with two outs, bringing in Hernan Perez and Cabrera. Perez led off the inning with a routine grounder to shortstop, but Alexei Ramirez misplayed it.
After retiring Austin Jackson and Hunter, Sale walked Cabrera and Fielder to load the bases for Martinez.
Detroit scored three more unearned runs in the ninth to put the game out of reach, with pitcher Ramon Troncoso and Ramirez making errors. Ramirez’s miscue, a throw that went out of play and allowed Brayan Pena to score from second on a pickoff play, was his second of the night and 16th of the season.
The three errors and five unearned runs allowed continued Chicago’s defensive woes. The fifth unearned run was the 45th given up by Chicago, one season after allowing 30.
Paul Konerko, activated from the 15-day disabled list Monday following a lower back strain, was the White Sox designated hitter and went 0 for 3 in his first game since July 2.
NOTES: White Sox 2B Gordon Beckham was out of the lineup after straining his left wrist Friday. Beckham is expected to miss a few more games and said the DL is a possibility, but the injury isn’t related to the surgery he underwent in April to correct a broken hamate bone. ... Detroit 2B Omar Infante has a left ankle injury he sustained on a slide by Toronto’s Colby Rasmus. Tigers manager Jim Leyland said Infante, on the DL since July 4, coming back by the weekend “might be wishful thinking.” ... White Sox RHP Jake Peavy said the trade speculation surrounding him “is not something that consumes any bit of my thought process.” Peavy does not have trade protection in the two-year contract he signed this offseason. ... Tuesday’s pitching matchup is Detroit’s Rick Porcello (6-6, 4.80 ERA) against Chicago’s Hector Santiago (3-5, 3.30).