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Tigers dominate, sweep Cardinals in World Series rematch

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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DETROIT -- The World Series rematch was a mismatch.

Detroit's Justin Verlander stayed unbeaten in May and Brandon Inge homered to help the Tigers win 6-2 on Sunday, completing a sweep of the defending world champion St. Louis Cardinals.

"You wish we would've swung the bats like this in the World Series," said Detroit's Sean Casey, who was one of the Tigers' few offensive standouts during the 4-1 series loss last fall. "You wish it was for all the marbles.

"They're a different team now and we're playing pretty well."

The Tigers, who split the first two games of the World Series here, outscored the Cardinals 28-14 in the weekend series and remained tied with Cleveland for first in the AL Central division. The Cardinals fell 9½ games behind NL Central leaders Milwaukee and are off to their worst start since manager Tony LaRussa joined the club in 1996.

Verlander (5-1), last season's Rookie of the Year in the AL, pitched eight strong innings to pick up his fourth victory in four May starts and hand the Cardinals their fifth straight defeat. He retired 10 straight batters after surrendering Chris Duncan's solo homer in the fifth.

The right-hander, who has won all four of his career starts in interleague play, gave up two runs and five hits with three strikeouts in his longest outing of the season.

"My velocity wasn't there today," said Verlander, who threw 120 pitches in a 7-2 win at Boston on May 15, "but I was still able to get people out. There's no such thing as a sophomore jinx. You've got to keep doing what you're doing every time you go out."

Verlander began the season with no-decisions in three of his first four starts and hasn't lost since April 28.

"He's always good," Cardinals veteran Scott Spiezio said. "He's got great stuff and he mixes it up well and throws to spots. He had a lot of good plays behind him, too."

Jim Edmonds hit an RBI single in the ninth for St. Louis off reliever Fernando Rodney. Bobby Seay got one out for his first career save.

Brad Thompson (2-1) gave up five runs and five hits in 5 2/3 innings. Casey highlighted Detroit's three-run sixth with a two-run double off reliever Tyler Johnson.

The Cardinals finished a 2-7 road trip and have lost six of their last seven.

"It's definitely a disappointing road trip," Thompson said. "I hope we get back on track when we get home. We have to start playing better baseball, but I'm confident we can do it. I mean, look around this clubhouse. You've got All-Stars and future Hall of Famers."

Duncan gave the Cardinals their only lead of the series when he homered to straight center in the fifth, but Inge put the Tigers back on top for good in the bottom of the inning with his eighth homer of the season.

Curtis Granderson led off the first with his AL-leading sixth triple and scored the game's first run on Neifi Perez's groundout.

Detroit's sweep came on the heels of a 1-3 trip to Boston and just before visits from division leaders Los Angeles and Cleveland.

"It doesn't get any easier," Casey said. "Those are good teams but we feel like we're a pretty good team right now, too."

It doesn't get easier for the Cardinals, either. They welcome NL Central leader Milwaukee on Tuesday.

"I don't care what other teams are doing," Spiezio added. "We've got to take care of ourselves. If we do that, then we'll be back in the thick of it."

Notes

  • The Tigers are 22-2 this season when they score five or more runs.
  • St. Louis' Yadier Molina doubled Sunday to extend his hitting streak to 13 games. It's the club's longest streak by a catcher since Ted Simmons hit safely in 19 games in 1975.
  • It wasn't just visiting Cardinals fans who wore red; some fans sported Detroit Red Wings sweaters. Detroit took on Anaheim in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals several blocks away.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Even without his best stuff, Justin Verlander continues to rule against the National League.  (AP)
Even without his best stuff, Justin Verlander continues to rule against the National League. (AP)

Players of the Game
Detroit

J. Verlander
IP 8.0
H 5
ER 2
BB 1
K 3
St. Louis

C. Duncan
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 1
 
St. Louis Cardinals
Adam Kennedy, 2B4010001 .239
Scott Spiezio, DH4000011 .276
Albert Pujols, 1B4120000 .273
Jim Edmonds, CF4011020 .225
Scott Rolen, 3B4010001 .209
Chris Duncan, LF4111012 .290
Yadier Molina, C3110000 .294
So Taguchi, RF2000100 .227
David Eckstein, SS3000001 .256
    Aaron Miles, SS0000000 .236
Totals3237214  
Batting
2B - Albert Pujols (7, Rodney), Yadier Molina (5, Verlander)
HR - Chris Duncan (7, Verlander)
RBI - Jim Edmonds (10), Chris Duncan (15)
CS - Albert Pujols (3, 2nd base by Verlander/Rabelo)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
DP - Pujols-Miles
St. Louis Cardinals
Brad Thompson (L,2-1) 5.2555211 4.67
Tyler Johnson 0.1211010 1.15
Ryan Franklin 1100000 0.95
Jason Isringhausen 1100100 1.69
Pitches-Strikes - Brad Thompson 86-52, Tyler Johnson 12-8, Ryan Franklin 14-9, Jason Isringhausen 11-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brad Thompson 9-7, Jason Isringhausen 1-1
Batters Faced - Brad Thompson 24, Tyler Johnson 3, Ryan Franklin 4, Jason Isringhausen 4
Detroit Tigers
Curtis Granderson, CF3110100 .284
Neifi Perez, 2B4011001 .214
Gary Sheffield, RF4010002 .240
Magglio Ordonez, DH4110002 .344
Carlos Guillen, SS4010002 .327
Craig Monroe, LF2100210 .229
Sean Casey, 1B4112001 .252
Mike Rabelo, C4121001 .250
Brandon Inge, 3B3112011 .227
Totals3269632  
Batting
2B - Neifi Perez (2, Franklin), Carlos Guillen (13, Isringhausen), Sean Casey (9, Johnson)
3B - Curtis Granderson (6, Thompson)
HR - Brandon Inge (8, Thompson)
RBI - Neifi Perez (5), Sean Casey 2 (10), Mike Rabelo (3), Brandon Inge 2 (17)
2-OUT RBI - Sean Casey 2 (5), Mike Rabelo (1)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Guillen-Casey, Perez-Guillen-Casey, Rabelo-Guillen
E - Carlos Guillen (10, Misplayed grounder)
Detroit Tigers
Justin Verlander (W,5-1) 8522131 2.68
Fernando Rodney 0.2211000 4.71
Bobby Seay (S,1) 0.1000010 5.40
WP - Justin Verlander (6)
Pitches-Strikes - Justin Verlander 109-74, Fernando Rodney 11-8, Bobby Seay 5-3
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Justin Verlander 9-10, Fernando Rodney 1-1
Batters Faced - Justin Verlander 28, Fernando Rodney 4, Bobby Seay 1
Game Information
Attendance - 39562
Game Time - 2:29
Temperature - 62
Umpires - Home - Troy Fullwood, First Base - Jim Reynolds, Second Base - Gary Cederstrom, Third Base - Lance Barksdale