- Associated Press - Sunday, June 22, 2014

CLEVELAND (AP) - A trip to Progressive Field last month began a downward spiral for the Detroit Tigers.

Their return visit could signal the start of a significant reversal.

Max Scherzer pitched six strong innings, Miguel Cabrera homered and drove in three runs, and the Tigers beat the Cleveland Indians 10-4 on Sunday for a three-game sweep.

The Tigers, swept in a three-game series at Cleveland in May, have won four in a row overall and reclaimed first place in the AL Central.

“We’re playing good baseball right now,” Scherzer said. “If we play good baseball and do the little things right, we’re as good as any team in the American League. That’s what we did this series.”

The first trip to Cleveland began a 9-20 tailspin that dropped the Tigers out of first place for the first time this season. Manager Brad Ausmus is pleased his team finally seems to be out of its funk.

“We played well here,” he said. “We’re playing better, obviously, but I’m not going to make any declarations that anything is starting or finishing.”

Scherzer (9-3) bounced back from one of the worst outings of his career. The reigning AL Cy Young winner allowed 10 runs in four innings against Kansas City on Tuesday.

Scherzer gave up one run and six hits, striking out eight. He was struck in the side of the right leg by Lonnie Chisenhall’s line drive in the sixth, but recovered to throw him out and completed the inning.

“That one hurt,” Scherzer said. “He hit it good. My leg is planted into the ground, so it has no give. I wore the whole thing.”

Ausmus and a team trainer checked on Scherzer, who quickly indicated he wanted to remain in the game. Nick Swisher doubled, but David Murphy grounded out and Scherzer pumped his fist as he headed to the dugout.

“His velocity actually went up after that,” Ausmus said.

Cabrera hit his 13th homer in the first, added an RBI single in the third and drove in a run with a grounder in the fifth when Detroit scored seven times.

Josh Tomlin (4-5) allowed eight runs in four-plus innings. He faced six hitters in the fifth and all reached base.

Cabrera, whose RBI double in the 10th inning Saturday gave Detroit a 5-4 win, lined a full-count pitch to right after Tomlin retired the first two batters in the first.

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