|Detroit (33-26) «||0||0||0||0||0||1||1||0||0||2||5||0|
|Chi. White Sox (27-33)||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||1||6||0|
CHICAGO -- Throwing at nearly 100 mph with pinpoint control right through his 122nd and final delivery, Justin Verlander was so good for so long that the Chicago White Sox couldn't believe what they had witnessed.
"It's almost PlayStation stuff, watching him throw the ball exactly where he wants to -- with movement, velocity, the works," said White Sox starter John Danks, who pitched 7 1/3 strong innings Wednesday night but couldn't match Verlander in Chicago's 2-1 loss to the Detroit Tigers.
"Ninety-nine percent of us only wish we had his stuff. To sit there and watch him paint a 97 mph fastball on the outside corner at the knees and then throw a perfect 82 mph curve, that's just impressive."
Verlander (7-2) pitched a six-hitter, striking out nine and walking one in his second complete game this season. In addition to saving the exhausted Detroit bullpen and carrying the Tigers to their fifth victory in six games, the big right-hander finally won at U.S. Cellular Field.
It took him 10 tries.
"It's been a pain in the butt," said Verlander, who had been 0-6 with a 5.92 ERA in his personal house of horrors and 2-9 with a 5.90 ERA against the White Sox. "These guys have had my number for three years, so it was very nice to come in here and throw a good game."
Even though Jim Thome hit his 552nd career home run, Chicago lost for the eighth time in 10 games to fall 6½ games behind AL Central-leading Detroit. The White Sox got only two other men as far as third base -- and Verlander made sure neither would score.
With Brian Anderson on third and one out in the sixth, Verlander retired Alexei Ramirez on a pop-up before striking out Jermaine Dye with a perfectly located, 98 mph fastball. Chris Getz was on third with two outs in the eighth when Verlander got Ramirez swinging on a nasty curve in the dirt.
"He was throwing 97, 98 the whole time, had a good curveball and he didn't miss a lot of spots," Chicago's A.J. Pierzynski said. "That's why he's been on a roll."
Indeed, Verlander is 7-0 with a league-low 1.10 ERA since April 27. The seven-decision streak matched his career best of 2006, when he helped Detroit reach the World Series.
"When you talk about a horse, that's a horse," Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. "He matched up against an outstanding pitcher and was just tremendous."
Danks (4-5) gave up five hits and struck out seven in his best performance in six weeks. The only runs he allowed came on Adam Everett's sixth-inning homer and a bases-loaded walk to Ryan Raburn in the seventh. Danks had a 7.02 ERA over his previous eight starts, the third-highest in the majors since April 28.
"It's nice to go out there and give us innings and a chance to win," he said. "But at the end of the day, I got outpitched and we lost another game."
|Justin Verlander twirls a complete game and is 7-0 since April 27 with a league-best 1.10 ERA. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Curtis Granderson, CF||4||0||1||0||0||0||0||.258|
|Placido Polanco, 2B||3||0||0||0||1||0||0||.249|
|Magglio Ordonez, RF||4||1||1||0||0||1||1||.279|
|Clete Thomas, RF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.245|
|Miguel Cabrera, 1B||4||0||1||0||0||1||0||.335|
|Josh Anderson, LF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.261|
|Marcus Thames, DH||4||0||1||0||0||0||1||.278|
|Brandon Inge, 3B||2||0||0||0||1||1||1||.279|
|Ryan Raburn, LF-1B||3||0||0||1||1||2||2||.227|
|Adam Everett, SS||3||1||1||1||0||2||3||.269|
|Dane Sardinha, C||3||0||0||0||0||2||3||.097|
|2B - Marcus Thames (3, Danks)|
|HR - Adam Everett (2, Danks)|
|RBI - Ryan Raburn (13), Adam Everett (24)|
|CS - Curtis Granderson (3, 2nd base by Danks/Pierzynski)|
|Team LOB - 5|
|DP - Inge-Polanco-Cabrera|
|Justin Verlander (W,7-2)||9||6||1||1||1||9||1||3.02|
|Pitches-Strikes - Justin Verlander 121-89|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Justin Verlander 10-6|
|Batters Faced - Justin Verlander 32|
|Chicago White Sox|
|Scott Podsednik, LF||3||0||0||0||0||0||2||.296|
|Alexei Ramirez, SS||4||0||0||0||0||2||2||.257|
|Jermaine Dye, RF||4||0||0||0||0||2||1||.276|
|Jim Thome, DH||3||1||1||1||1||2||0||.250|
|Paul Konerko, 1B||3||0||0||0||0||1||1||.291|
|Josh Fields, 1B||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.235|
|A.J. Pierzynski, C||3||0||1||0||0||1||0||.291|
|Gordon Beckham, 3B||3||0||1||0||0||0||1||.100|
|Chris Getz, 2B||3||0||2||0||0||0||1||.247|
|Brian Anderson, CF||2||0||1||0||0||0||1||.239|
|2B - Brian Anderson (5, Verlander)|
|HR - Jim Thome (11, Verlander)|
|SH - Scott Podsednik (1), Brian Anderson (2)|
|RBI - Jim Thome (37)|
|SB - Chris Getz (7, 2nd base off Verlander/Sardinha)|
|CS - Gordon Beckham (1, 2nd base by Verlander/Sardinha)|
|Team LOB - 4|
|DP - A. Ramirez-Getz-Fields|
|Chicago White Sox|
|John Danks (L,4-5)||7.1||5||2||2||2||7||1||4.81|
|HBP - Inge (by John Danks)|
|Pitches-Strikes - John Danks 101-66, Octavio Dotel 17-12|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - John Danks 9-5, Octavio Dotel 1-1|
|Batters Faced - John Danks 29, Octavio Dotel 5|
|Attendance - 28079|
|Game Time - 2:12|
|Temperature - 54|
|Umpires - Home - Brian Runge, First Base - Derryl Cousins, Second Base - Bill Miller, Third Base - Jim Joyce|