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Detroit Tigers Beat Chisox 5-4, Verlander wins 14th

Detroit Tigers v Chicago White Sox
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

When the Tigers have really needed a win this season, Justin Verlander has delivered time and time again.  Tonight, Verlander gave up 2-run homers to the struggling slugger Adam Dunn (.160 batting ave.) and to Paul Konerko (Chicago’s best hitter).  Verlander would strike both of  them out in the bottom of the 8th after the Tigers took a 5-4 lead. 

Verlander hung a curveball on the pitch that Konerko hit out in the 6th inning.  That was a mistake that he wouldn’t make again.  Verlander struck Konerko out in the 8th on fastballs clocked at 98 mph and above.  Strike three came on a 100 mph pitch.  He then carved up Dunn on a nasty curveball after getting ahead on high-90’s heaters.  Jose Valverde came in and got the side out in order in the 9th for his 27th save in 27 opportunities.

The Tigers took the lead in the top of the 8th inning after Victor Martinez led off the inning with a walk.  Andy Dirks came in to pinch-run for Martinez and stole second base.  A clutch base hit by Wilson Betemit (the Tigers’ new 3rd baseman) scored Dirks with what proved to be the winning run. 

The win gives Detroit a little breathing room in the American League Central division as the Cleveland Indians lost tonight.  The Tigers now have a two-game cushion on the Indians and lead 3rd-place Chicago by 4 and a half.  The Tigers and White Sox will play the deciding game of their 3-game series tomorrow afternoon at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago.  Max Scherzer starts for the Tigers against Chicago’s Jonathan Danks.  First pitch at 2:10 pm. 

The Tigers then come home for 4 against the Los Angeles Angels then three with the Texas Rangers.  A win tomorrow afternoon would be huge for Detroit.

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