The last time Justin Verlander pitched, Victor Martinez made sure he got his 22nd win by belting a grand slam to beat Cleveland. Tonight, V-Mart hit a 3-run blast in the 6th inning of what was a 1-0 game at the time. That put Detroit and Verlander up 4-0. The Tigers would add one more run to beat the White Sox 5-0. It was the 11th win in a row for Detroit and the 11th straight win for Verlander, who is now 23-5.
Verlander struggled a bit early in this game, but settled down and pitched seven shutout innings. Martinez got his big hit after Will Rhymes led off the 6th with a double. Delmon Young advanced him to 3rd base with one out. Chicago walked Miguel Cabrera and took their chances with Martinez. Victor would make them pay, and the Tigers moved closer to clinching the American League Central Division title. Detroit's magic number is now 4, as Cleveland lost to Texas 10-4. Any combination of Tiger wins and/or Cleveland losses that add up to 4 equals a division championship for the Tigers. Detroit is now 86-62. The Tigers and White Sox will face each other for the last time this season tomorrow afternoon at 2:10 at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago. Brad Penny will try to bring the win streak to an even dozen against Chicago rookie Dylan Axelrod, who will make his first Major League start.