Justin Verlander didn't even have his "A" game today.  But he is proving every time he takes the mound that he is one of the most formidable pitchers in the game.  He kept the Mets from putting slowpitch softball-like numbers on the scoreboard today and the Tigers won 5-2.

The Mets had scored 14 and 16 runs in the previous two games against Detroit, so it was imperative that Verlander stop the bleeding.  While the Mets gave him some trouble, he battled through 7 innings allowing just one run, while striking out six.  Verlander is now 11-3 with a 2.32 earned run average.  Joaquin Benoit allowed a solo homer in the 8th, and Jose Valverde pitched a scoreless 9th to record his 19th save in 19 opportunities.

The Tigers scored on a single by Austin Jackson in the 2nd, a sacrafice fly by Alex Avila in the 3rd, and a single by Ramon Santiago also in the 3rd.  Another run scored on a throwing error after Santiago's hit.  Andy Dirks hit his 3rd home run in 3 days with a solo shot in the 5th, and that's all the Tigers would need to get the win today. 

The victory keeps the Tigers in at least a tie for first place in the American League Central, pending the outcome of Cleveland's game tonight. 

The Tigers will begin a weekend series with San Francisco tomorrow night at Comerica Park.  Brad Penny gets the start for the Tigers.  7:05 first pitch.