Detroit at Cleveland

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Detroit (82-70) «0004001106100
Cleveland (61-91)0020000125121

Verlander fans 11, moves Tigers three games up in AL Central

CBSSports.com wire reports
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CLEVELAND -- Although Justin Verlander and Tigers manager Jim Leyland don't always agree on pitching philosophy, they were both pleased with his latest effort.

Verlander (17-9) struck out 11 in seven innings and Carlos Guillen had three hits and an RBI in Detroit's 6-5 victory against Cleveland on Thursday, pushing the Indians within one loss of matching a franchise record for futility.

With the victory, Detroit moved three games ahead of the idle Minnesota Twins in the AL's Central Division. The Tigers, who have 10 games remaining, will open a three-game series at the Chicago White Sox on Friday night.

 Wedge encourages slumping Indians | Playoff Race

Despite all the strikeouts, Leyland thought Verlander was simply throwing at times instead of pitching.

Verlander disagreed.

"There's a lot of times where I've gotten into trouble and just let it go and gotten out of it," Verlander said. "Me and him tend to differ a lot on opinion. I wouldn't say I'm throwing it, I'm just giving it more effort."

Such as the third inning, when the Indians loaded the bases on a pair of hits and a walk. Verlander threw a 101 mph fastball that broke Michael Brantley's bat, yet the ball still sailed into right field for a two-run single. That hit gave the Indians more runs off Verlander than they had in the other 29 innings against him this season combined.

"At the end of the day, he's the horse and he got a well-deserved win," Leyland said. "He's a tremendous pitcher."

Fernando Rodney earned his 35th save despite allowing a two-run homer to Shin-Soo Choo in the ninth.

The loss was the Indians' 11th straight, their longest skid since a club-record 12-game streak in 1931. They can match that mark Friday when Baltimore, losers of seven straight, opens a weekend series at Progressive Field.

"Our guys made a good run at it," Indians manager Eric Wedge said. "We played better baseball tonight. We're still short, obviously, on the win side."

Verlander (17-9) entered having lost his previous two decisions, but he continued his dominance over the Indians. He struck out at least one batter in six of his seven innings and struck out the side in the fourth.

He won all four of his starts against Cleveland this year, allowing three earned runs in 30 innings (0.90 ERA). The AL leader in strikeouts (256) has registered at least 10 in seven starts this season -- and three of those came against the Indians.

When Cleveland went ahead 2-0 in the third, it was its first lead since Sept. 15 at Minnesota, a span of 70 innings. The Indians didn't have long to celebrate.

Detroit's first five batters reached to start the fourth off Carlos Carrasco (0-3), and RBI singles from Brandon Inge, Gerald Laird and Ramon Santiago gave the Tigers a 4-2 lead.

Carrasco has given up at least four runs in each of his four starts since joining the Indians on Sept. 1.

Rodney entered the ninth with a three-run cushion and retired the first two batters before walking Jamey Carroll. Choo followed with his 17th home run and Travis Hafner singled, bringing the winning run to the plate in Jhonny Peralta.

Peralta worked the count full before hitting a sinking liner that tailed away from Inge at third base. Inge made a leaping stab at the ball to end the game.

"I think everybody's heart was in their throat a little bit," Verlander said. "But he [Rodney] has come through all year for us. Whenever a little doubt creeps in, you say he's done it all year for us and he's our guy. Once again, he did it."

Notes

  • Tigers RHP Rick Porcello on Thursday became the fourth pitcher 20 years old or younger since 1970 to win at least 14 games in a season, according to Elias Sports Bureau. The others were Cincinnati's Don Gullett and Minnesota's Bert Blyleven in 1971 and the Mets' Dwight Gooden in '84 and '85.
  • Indians 1B Matt LaPorta (left hip) wasn't in the lineup for the second successive game. Wedge said he might be able to start Friday.
  • Peralta's single in the fourth ended an 0-for-26 skid.
 
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Justin Verlander ends a personal two-game skid, striking out 11 in the Indians' 11th straight loss. (AP)
Justin Verlander ends a personal two-game skid, striking out 11 in the Indians' 11th straight loss. (AP)

Players of the Game
Detroit

J. Verlander
IP 7.0
H 7
ER 2
BB 2
K 11
Cleveland

S. Choo
AB 5
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
 

Related Video

Detroit Tigers
Curtis Granderson, CF5001012 .245
Placido Polanco, 2B4011101 .284
Magglio Ordonez, RF3010101 .295
    Clete Thomas, PR-RF1100001 .245
Miguel Cabrera, 1B5000023 .329
Aubrey Huff, DH4110102 .245
Carlos Guillen, LF3131100 .255
    Don Kelly, LF0000100 .236
Brandon Inge, 3B5121024 .234
Gerald Laird, C3111000 .227
Ramon Santiago, SS3111102 .267
Totals36610665  
Batting
2B - Carlos Guillen (9, Sipp), Brandon Inge (13, Lewis)
SH - Gerald Laird (9)
RBI - Curtis Granderson (64), Placido Polanco (69), Carlos Guillen (39), Brandon Inge (79), Gerald Laird (32), Ramon Santiago (31)
2-OUT RBI - Placido Polanco (31), Carlos Guillen (15)
SB - Ramon Santiago (1, 2nd base off Perez/Toregas)
CS - Carlos Guillen (3, 2nd base by Carrasco/Toregas)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
DP - Polanco-Santiago-Cabrera
Detroit Tigers
Justin Verlander (W,17-9) 77222110 3.41
Bobby Seay0211000 3.88
Brandon Lyon (H,15) 1100000 2.90
Fernando Rodney (S,35) 1222101 3.97
WP - Justin Verlander (6), Fernando Rodney (5)
Pitches-Strikes - Justin Verlander 126-80, Bobby Seay 9-5, Brandon Lyon 7-5, Fernando Rodney 30-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Justin Verlander 2-7, Brandon Lyon 1-2, Fernando Rodney 1-2
Batters Faced - Justin Verlander 29, Bobby Seay 2, Brandon Lyon 4, Fernando Rodney 6
Cleveland Indians
Michael Brantley, LF5022010 .337
Jamey Carroll, 2B4100113 .283
Shin-Soo Choo, RF5222022 .304
Travis Hafner, DH5031002 .270
    Niuman Romero, PR-DH0000000 .125
Jhonny Peralta, 3B5010023 .262
Luis Valbuena, SS3010121 .235
Trevor Crowe, CF4110013 .232
Andy Marte, 1B4120013 .242
Wyatt Toregas, C2000111 .182
   a- Asdrubal Cabrera, PH1000000 .305
Totals385125311  
a-fouled out for Toregas in the 9th
Batting
2B - Travis Hafner (18, Seay), Andy Marte (4, Verlander)
HR - Shin-Soo Choo (17, Rodney)
RBI - Michael Brantley 2 (9), Shin-Soo Choo 2 (81), Travis Hafner (46)
2-OUT RBI - Shin-Soo Choo 2 (35)
SB - Michael Brantley (4, 2nd base off Verlander/Laird)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
E - Luis Valbuena (11, Throwing)
Cleveland Indians
Carlos Carrasco (L,0-3) 5644300 9.00
Jensen Lewis 1.2211020 4.30
Tony Sipp0100100 3.13
Chris Perez 1.1111110 4.42
Kerry Wood 1000120 4.15
Pitches-Strikes - Carlos Carrasco 92-53, Jensen Lewis 23-14, Tony Sipp 10-6, Chris Perez 29-15, Kerry Wood 23-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Carlos Carrasco 11-4, Jensen Lewis 2-1, Chris Perez 1-2
Batters Faced - Carlos Carrasco 24, Jensen Lewis 7, Tony Sipp 2, Chris Perez 6, Kerry Wood 4
Game Information
Attendance - 23516
Game Time - 3:17
Temperature - 66
Umpires - Home - Joe West, First Base - Ed Rapuano, Second Base - Paul Schrieber, Third Base - Paul Nauert