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Tigers top Astros 2-0 for 6th straight win

DETROIT -- Max Scherzer allowed just three hits and struck out nine batters over eight innings as the American League-leading Detroit Tigers blanked the Houston Astros 2-0 Monday for their season-high sixth straight victory.

Rajai Davis broke a scoreless tie with an RBI single in the seventh and Victor Martinez hit a solo homer in the eighth. Catcher Alex Avila threw out two runners in the late innings for the Tigers.

Houston, which has the worst record in the majors, has lost three in a row.

Scherzer (4-1) earned his fourth straight win.

Also in the AL, Eduardo Escobar homered to lead off the 10th inning against Cleveland closer John Axford as the Minnesota Twins beat the Cleveland Indians 1-0.

Escobar, who entered as a pinch-hitter in the seventh, connected on a 1-0 pitch from Axford (0-3), driving it over the wall in right for his first homer since June 20 and fourth of his career in 344 at-bats.

In other AL games, the Seattle Mariners downed the Oakland Athletics 4-2 and the Los Angeles Angels beat the New York Yankees 4-1.

In interleague play, Jose Reyes hit a leadoff homer and J.A. Happ allowed three hits over five innings as the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Philadelphia Phillies 3-0.

Facing his former team, Happ (1-0) walked four batters and pitched out of trouble often in his first start of the season. The left-hander was filling in for injured righty Brendan Morrow. Four relievers finished off the seven-hitter.

The Phillies failed to go two games above .500 for the first time since Oct. 1, 2012. They are 0-4 in those situations this season.

The Chicago White Sox edged the Cubs 2-1 over 12 innings and the Colorado Rockies downed the Texas Rangers 8-2 in other interleague matchups.

In the National League, Matt Carpenter's two-run double in the fifth inning helped carry the St. Louis Cardinals to a 4-3 win over the Braves, who shook up their lineup but still lost their seventh in a row.

Desperate for more offense, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez batted pitcher Aaron Harang eighth and put second baseman Ramiro Pena in the ninth spot. Pena had two hits, including a seventh-inning homer that brought the Braves within a run, but they couldn't overcome a 4-0 deficit.

Taking advantage of shaky defense, Carpenter doubled in two runs and Matt Holiday followed with a run-scoring single. Peter Bourjos had an RBI single in the sixth to extend St. Louis' lead.

In other NL games, the Miami Marlins edged the New York Mets 4-3, the San Francisco Giants beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 11-10 over 13 innings, the Milwaukee Brewers trounced the Arizona Diamondbacks 8-0 and Washington Nationals shut out the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-0 and the San Diego Padres took 12 innings to beat the Kansas City Padres 6-5.

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Detroit Tigers pitcher Max Scherzer throws against the Houston Astros in the fifth inning of a baseball game in Detroit on Monday, May 5. (AP)

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