- Associated Press - Sunday, July 20, 2014

DETROIT (AP) - Max Scherzer pitched in pain and yet refused to make excuses.

Detroit’s star suffered from neck spasms in the Tigers’ 5-2 loss to Cleveland, allowing the Indians to sweep the day-night doubleheader.

“There’s no excuses on ailments,” he said Saturday night.

Scherzer also took the blame for letting No. 9 hitter Chris Dickerson hit a pair of solo homers off him.

“I was one pitch away from having a great outing,” he said. “Unfortunately, I gave Dickerson two pitches - two offspeed pitches - in the middle of the zone. He’s a good enough hitter that he’s going to capitalize.”

Scherzer said he has had neck spasms in the past, and is not worried about the current one affecting his future.

“No, I’m not concerned about it,” he insisted.

The AL Central-leading Tigers have lost four straight - three in a row to the second-place Indians - and their lead is just 4½ games.

“It’s frustrating, especially when you’re playing teams in your division,” centerfielder Austin Jackson said. “You always want to get those wins. We had opportunities and we couldn’t get that big hit when we needed it.”

Detroit’s defense had chances, including when Jackson raced to right-center and failed to catch Carlos Santana’s tiebreaking, bases-clearing double with two outs in the ninth inning of the second game.

“I rushed my glove up to try and make the catch,” Jackson recalled. “I missed it, and hit the wall.”

The Tigers tied it in the seventh when Jackson hit a two-out triple to score Eugenio Suarez from first after he beat a throw on a potential double play to extend the inning.

The Indians loaded the bases in the ninth against Joe Nathan (4-3) with Roberto Perez’s leadoff double, Jason Kipnis’ walk and Michael Brantley’s free pass and Santana took advantage.

Cleveland won the first game 6-2 thanks in large part to Corey Kluber’s strong outing.

Drew VerHagen, meanwhile, gave Detroit a shot to win the first game in his major league debut after shaking off some early nerves and struck out his first two hitters.

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