Verlander Gets Career Win #100, Detroit Tigers Beat Cleveland 4-3
The Cleveland Indians had beaten the Tigers 13 times in a row at Progressive Field in Cleveland. Tiger ace Justin Verlander has stopped a lot of Detroit losing streaks this year, and tonight would be no different. The Cleveland Indians wouldn't make it easy for Verlander.
The Tigers would score first in this one as Austin Jackson reached second base on a throwing error in the first inning. A groundout by Raburn moved him to 3rd and a flyout by Ordonez brought Jackson home with Detroit's first run. The Tigers would score 3 more in the second inning, with the 4th and winning run coming on a suicide squeeze bunt by Austin Jackson. The Indians got one back in the bottom of the second on a homer by Carlos Santana, then scored twice more in the 3rd to make this one a little too close for most Tiger fans. Verlander and the Tiger bullpen would shut down the Tribe the rest of the way. Verlander went 7 innings, gave up 3 runs on 3 hits and struck out 10 for his 17th win of the season. 12 of those wins have come after Tiger losses. The win was also Verlander's 100th career victory. At age 28, Verlander is poised to win many more. Verlander got stellar help from the bullpen tonight as Joaquin Benoit struck out two and retired the side in order in the 8th inning, and closer Jose Valverde mowed down the Indians 1-2-3 in the 9th for this 33rd save in 33 opportunities, which is a new Tiger record for consecutive saves to start a season.
The win also puts the Tigers (62-55) back to a 3 game lead over second-place Cleveland in the American League Central division. The Chicago White Sox won again tonight and trail by just 4 games.
The Tigers will continue their road trip with a 3-game series in Baltimore against the Orioles starting tomorrow night. Brad Penny will pitch for the Tigers vs. the O's Alfredo Simon. 7:05 pm.
The Tigers and Indians have 3 more 3-game series against each other this season. Two in Detroit and one in Cleveland. The regular season ends with the Tigers hosting the Indians. This could go down to the last game. If it does, let's hope Verlander is pitching.