(Reuters) - Detroit starter Rick Porcello pitched seven shutout innings on Friday as the Tigers padded their lead in the American League Central with a 7-0 victory over division rivals Cleveland.
Jhonny Peralta and Ramon Santiago each drove in two runs at a sold out Progressive Field while Andy Dirks collected two hits and scored three times for Detroit, who moved 2-1/2 games ahead of the second-placed Indians by improving to 47-38.
Peralta delivered a two-out, two-run double in the fifth inning to Cleveland ace Justin Masterson out of the game.
Santiago opened the scoring in the second inning with a two-run single and Miguel Cabrera, who returned after missing one game because of a sore back, made it 3-0 in the following frame with an RBI base hit.
Victor Martinez hit an RBI single in the fifth before scoring on Peralta’s two-run double and added another run-scoring single in the seventh to complete the 7-0 rout as Detroit won their fourth straight game.
Masterson (10-7) allowed six runs and seven hits while Carlos Santana recorded two of the six hits for Cleveland, who slipped to a third successive defeat.
In the National League, rookie Tyler Skaggs (2-1) yielded just three hits in eight innings as the West-leading Arizona Diamondbacks beat the struggling Colorado Rockies 5-0 in Phoenix.
The 21-year-old Skaggs, who was recalled from Triple-A Reno earlier in the day, walked one and struck out five for Arizona, who improved to 45-41 for the season.
A.J. Pollock had two hits and scored three runs for the Diamondbacks, while Paul Goldschmidt drove in two runs with a double and single to lift his National League-leading total to 71 RBIs.
In Chicago, Francisco Liriano (8-3) pitched a four-hitter for his first complete game in more than two years as the National League Central-leading Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Cubs 6-2 in the opener of a three-game series.
Starling Marte had three hits, scored twice and stole two bases while Garrett Jones and Jose Tabata each had two hits and an RBI for Pittsburgh, who improved to a major league-best 53-32.
In Toronto, Mark Buehrle scattered six hits across seven scoreless innings and Jose Bautista recorded his 20th home run as the Blue Jays beat the Minnesota Twins 4-0 at Rogers Centre.
Twins starter Kevin Correia (6-6) surrendered four runs on 10 hits over six innings for Minnesota, whose losing streak stretched to six games.
Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Peter Rutherford