Miguel Cabrera, one question, please.

Does it feel better to hit one home run in a game you win than three in a game you lose?

"Oh yeah," he said, with that big, broad smile of his. "That was awesome."

Cabrera didn't need to spell out the most awesome aspect of the Tigers' 5-1 victory on Tuesday night over the Cleveland Indians.

It was more than his role in it, the two-run home run he hit in the sixth that gave the Tigers the lead for good, Cabrera's fourth home run in the last two games.

It was more than the fact the Indians are in first, the Tigers in second, and that the victory narrowed the gap to 1-1/2 games.

"I don't worry about the standings this time of year," manager Jim Leyland said.

It was what Cabrera, and everyone else who was watching, had just seen Max Scherzer do while improving his record to 6-0.

After however long it took for the first five Cleveland batters to (in this order) single, line out to center, single, hit a sacrifice fly and walk, Scherzer settled down and settled in for a dazzling night of dominating the Tribe.

From the last out of the first inning to the last out of the Indians' eighth, the Tigers' starter didn't allow another runner.

It was 22 up, 22 down — at the end of which his night was over.

Scherzer said he felt he got into a desired rhythm after recovering from a 3-1 count to get Jason Giambi out on a pop-up to start the bottom of the second.

"I focused on the process," he said. "I slowed the game down at that point and was able to execute all my pitches from that point on. That allowed me to be successful."

In a non-save situation, Jose Valverde allowed a leadoff single in the ninth, and hit a batter — but the Indians, who had walk-off victories in three of the previous four games, stopped far short of doing it again.

With Scherzer retiring one batter after another en route to allowing just two hits in eight innings while striking out seven, the Tigers had time to come up with the runs they needed — which they did with two home runs in the sixth inning against Indians starter Corey Kluber.

"I just knew that if I kept putting up zeros," Scherzer said, "eventually we'd come back. That's the faith I have in our hitters."