Scherzer claimed his league-leading 21st win by fanning 10 while allowing two hits and walking six.
Torii Hunter's RBI single in the first proved to be all the offence he and the Tigers needed as they remained 4 1/2 games clear of Cleveland, who have four games remaining.
The Indians beat the Chicago White Sox 7-2, which was enough to keep them one game clear in the battle for the American League's second wildcard spot.
Nick Swisher homered, while Michael Bradley had three hits.
The Tampa Bay Rays kept control of the first wildcard spot as two homers from Evan Longoria helped them to an 8-3 win over the New York Yankees.
The Yankees were eliminated as they came up against an in-form David Price, who fanned eight in seven innings of two-run ball.
Shelby Miller pitched six strong innings as the St Louis Cardinals put themselves within a game of winning the National League Central by beating the Washington Nationals 4-1.
Miller allowed one run on four hits, while Matt Adams smacked his eighth homer of the month for a win which also gave the Cards the NL's best record.
St Louis' challengers for the NL Central, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, both lost, as did the team who previously held the NL's best record, Atlanta.
The Pirates slipped up 4-2 against the Chicago Cubs, while the Reds came up against a dealing Daisuke Matsuzaka, who pitched 7 2/3 shut-out frames in a 1-0 win for the New York Mets.
The Pirates and Reds face each other in a three-game set which will likely determine who has homefield advantage in the wildcard game.
The Braves were beaten 4-0 by the Milwaukee Brewers to fall a half-game back on the Cards in the battle for homefield advantage as Kyle Lohse pitched a two-hit shut-out.
Lohse struck out five and needed just 89 pitches to comnplete his gem.
Will Middlebrooks smacked two homers including a grand slam as the Boston Red Sox put themselves within a game of sealing homefield advantage in the AL by beating the Colorado Rockies 15-5.
Middlebrooks drove in seven in total, while Shane Victorino also went yard, as did Todd Helton in his final home game for the Rockies.
Jered Weaver threw seven innings of one-run ball as the Los Angeles Angels claimed a 3-1 win over the Oakland Athletics, who slipped two games back on the Red Sox.
Leonys Martin hit a bases-clearing double as the Texas Rangers beat the Houston Astros 7-3 to stay in the wildcard race.
Hisashi Iwakuma threw eight scoreless innings as the Seattle Mariners beat Kansas City 6-0 to eliminate the Royals from play-off contetnion.
Prospect Jonathan Schoop homered for Baltimore and Ryan Flaherty went deep twice as the Orioles beat the Toronto Blue Jays 9-5.
Elsewhere, the Miami Marlins beat the Philadelphia Phillies 3-2, the San Diego Padres were 12-2 winners over the Arizona Diamondbacks and the San Francisco Giants saw off the Los Angeles Dodgers 6-4.