Scherzer (20-3) became the first in the majors this year to record 20 victories. He did so in his fifth try, having gone 0-2 in four starts since capturing his 19th win on Aug. 24.
He gave up three runs on six hits in six innings with three strikeouts.
The Tigers scored seven times over the first three frames, but had only a four-run lead heading into the fifth.
Detroit trimmed its magic number for clinching the American League Central title to three.
Dylan Axelrod (4-10) was charged with the loss, giving up seven runs on 10 hits in just 2 2/3.
In addition to their five-run fifth, Detroit put together a four-run third that included a two-run single from Torii Hunter.