Verlander Wins #21, Detroit Tigers Ambush White Sox 8-1
Chicago pitcher John Danks wasn't ready for the Tigers in the first inning of tonight's game. When Miguel Cabrera stole second base off Danks in the first (his catcher didn't have a chance to throw out the lumbering Tiger slugger), you had to know that this might be a good night for the team from "The D". Cabrera ended up scoring on a bloop single to left by Alex Avila, and the Tigers staked Justin Verlander to a 3-0 lead. That was more than enough for the Tiger ace, who struck out six in 7 and one third innings of work. The only blemish was a solo home run to White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers in the 8th inning.
The Tiger bullpen took care of business after that, and Verlander notched win number 21 against only five losses.
Austin Jackson continued his hot hitting, going 3 for 5 with a 2-run homer. Jhonny Peralta knocked in three runs with a bases-loaded double in the 5th.
The victory puts the Tigers six games ahead of second-place Cleveland and six and a half up on the Sox in the American League Central division race. A healthy margin, but not insurmountable as the Tigers have 5 more games with Chicago and six more against Cleveland on the schedule this month. A good week by the Tigers could put their challengers out of the race by next weekend as Detroit plays three in Cleveland after this weekend's series with the White Sox. On the other hand, a bad stretch of baseball could turn Tiger fans into nervous wrecks and let both Chicago and Cleveland right back into the fight.
The Tigers and White Sox will play tomorrow afternoon at Comerica Park on national television as one of the Fox Games of the Week. 4:10 first pitch. Brad Penny will start for Detroit against Chicago's Gavin Floyd.