CHICAGO — Max Scherzer already has a Cy Young Award. Now he has a complete game.
Scherzer tossed a three-hitter in his 179th career start for his first complete game and Victor Martinez hit his 16th homer to lead the Detroit Tigers to a 4-0 win over the Chicago White Sox.
“It’s awesome,” said Scherzer, who threw 113 pitches. “I finally got the monkey off my back.
“I was finally able to go nine and finish the deal, so it’s good feeling.”
Scherzer (8-2) was back in his 2013 Cy Young form, striking out eight and walking three while outdueling Chicago starter Chris Sale (5-1). Only three times did the White Sox have men in scoring position.
Sale was nearly as sharp as Scherzer. He struck out 10 — all swinging — to match a season high and allowed five hits in seven innings.
“When you face Sale, you’ve got to bring your ‘A’ game,” Scherzer said. “There’s no room for error.”
Martinez hit a solo shot into the left-field bullpen to lead off the fifth for the only run off Sale. Miguel Cabrera drove in two runs with an infield single with two out in the eighth of reliever Jake Petricka to put the Tigers ahead 3-0.
Bryan Holiday drove in an insurance run in the ninth.
Sale didn’t allow a baserunner until Rajai Davis led off the fourth with a single and left the game with Detroit leading 1-0. But Scherzer was a bit better.
“He was dominant,” Sale said of Scherzer. “You know coming into this, you know who you’re going up against and it’s not going to be easy.
“For a long time there, it was who’s going to flinch first, and unfortunately it was me.”
Scherzer had allowed 20 runs over 26 1/3 innings in his previous four starts, going 1-1. The right-hander pitched nine innings once before in a game, on Sept. 1, 2010, in 2-1 10-inning loss to Minnesota.