Hunter went 4-for-5 with three runs batted in and two scored. He hit the second of two Detroit home runs in the second inning and singled in one run and scored another in the fourth.
Justin Verlander (11-8) took advantage of the support to get the win after he had lost four of his previous six decisions. Verlander allowed just four hits and a one run in six innings. He walked five and struck out six.
The run he allowed came in the first inning when the Nationals scored on two walks, a single and a Jayson Werth sacrifice fly.
Detroit ripped Washington starter Gio Gonzalez (7-4) for 10 runs on 11 hits and a walk in 3 1/3 innings. Ramon Santiago delivered a two-run double just ahead of a two-run Alex Avila home run in the second. Two batters later, Hunter made the score 5-1 Detroit with his 11th home run of the season.
Gonzalez, who allowed a first-inning double to Hunter, retired the side in order in the third and got an out in the fourth before allowing six consecutive batters to reach base. Hunter had an RBI single in that rally. An RBI hit by Victor Martinez chased Gonzalez from the game and the Tigers added a run off reliever Ross Ohlendorf.
Hunter had an RBI double in the seventh to account for the game's final run.