Before Saturday’s game, the Tigers honored former manager Jim Leyland — and they played a prototypical game in his style, with good pitching and home runs.

After the pregame celebration, in which Leyland received a standing ovation from the sellout crowd at Comerica Park, Max Scherzer showed some of the form that earned him the Cy Young Award last year, in Leyland’s final season.

Scherzer started this season 4-1 and was looking for his fourth straight victory over the Twins. He didn’t have his best stuff but got enough run support in the Tigers’ six-run second inning as they cruised to a 9-3 victory over the Twins before a sellout crowd of 42,312.

In six innings, Scherzer gave up three runs on five hits with four walks and six strikeouts but lasted through a rough third inning and was able to pick up his fifth straight win overall.

“I was a little off today; I walked way too many guys and wasn’t throwing first-pitch strikes. I made some pitches when I needed to and kept the game where it needed to be — a three-run game for most of the game. I was able to get out of some jams there,” Scherzer said. “Even though it’s not the best I’ve thrown this year, I can walk away with my head held high on this one.”

The Tigers ended their two-game losing skid and held onto the best record in the majors at 21-11.

They used a big second inning to take control, after Alex Avila and Andrew Romine had back-to-back RBI singles off Twins starter Kyle Gibson (3-3).

“It was good to get those six runs, but when they bounced back with three in the next half inning; that early in the game, you’re certainly not comfortable,” manager Brad Ausmus said. “It was good to put a crooked number on the board early against a guy who’s pitched pretty well this year.”

An error on Torii Hunter’s two-out grounder continued the inning and Miguel Cabrera capitalized, with a three-run home run to right-center.

“It’s just Miggy being Miggy. They made a mistake of not ending that inning because when he comes up, he’s going to make you pay,” Scherzer said. “It’s great to see we were scratching some runs across early and we capitalized on a huge mistake they made and Miggy will always make you do that.”

That was more than enough for Scherzer, who breezed through the first two innings, needing only 22 pitches.

But he got into trouble in the third, when he walked No. 8 hitter Aaron Hicks and gave up a double to Danny Santana. That set up Brian Dozier, who blasted a home run — his ninth of the season — to left field.

Scherzer calmed down from there, giving up just five hits in six innings, with four walks and six strikeouts. It was the first outing this season that he didn’t strike out at least seven.

Victor Martinez added a three-run blast — his eighth home run of the season — to push the lead to 9-3 in the seventh.

“He’s a professional hitter and one of the best I’ve ever seen in my life,” Cabrera said. “He always works counts and he doesn’t take anything for granted and he’s always ready to hit.”