Chicago at Detroit

W: J. Verlander (19-9) L: J. Danks (13-11)
S: F. Rodney (37)
HR: CHW - None   DET - R. Raburn (15), M. Ordonez (8), R. Raburn (16)

Verlander, Raburn lift Tigers; playoff with Twins set for Tuesday wire reports

DETROIT -- The Detroit Tigers did their part Sunday, then found cozy spots in their clubhouse, cafeteria or manager's office to root for Kansas City to beat Minnesota.

No such luck.

Justin Verlander pitched into the eighth inning in the Tigers' 5-3 victory over the Chicago White Sox, but the Twins routed the Royals to force a tiebreaker for the AL Central title Tuesday at the Metrodome.

Neither Tigers nor Twins ready to go home
by Danny Knobler
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"It's going to be fun," Detroit's Curtis Granderson said. "I'm sure Minnesota is going to be rocking."

Detroit, hoping to win its first division title since 1987, will start 20-year-old rookie Rick Porcello against Scott Baker.

"He's been young all year and he pitched awful good against Minnesota the other day," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "I know one thing for a fact - he will not be scared. He'll be excited."

The slumping Tigers got the pitching performance and offense they needed -- along with a clutch defensive play -- in the final scheduled game of the season to avoid ending the year with a thud.

Verlander was solid on the mound, Ryan Raburn was spectacular at the plate with two homers and a rejuvenated Magglio Ordonez continued his late-season tear with a solo shot as part of a 4-for-4 day.

"I'm awful proud of our team," Leyland said. "Have we been perfect? No. Do you wish you would've had it wrapped right now? Do you think you should've? Yes.

"But when you also think that people were picking you fourth in the division in the winter and spring and after 162 games, you're tied for first place - that's not bad."

Twins-Tigers links

Twins 13, Royals 4

Cabrera declines comment about cut on face


Knobler Blog
One more game. At the Metrodome. No problem, Magglio Ordonez said. “I hit good there,” Ordonez said Sunday, after the Tigers beat the White Sox 5-3, and the Twins beat the Royals 13-4, forcing Tuesday’s one-game playoff for the American League Central crown. Read more

A big catch by Granderson in center helped the Tigers end a three-game skid and win for just the third time in eight games.

"What a play," Verlander said. "If he misses that who knows? It could've been a tie game."

After getting a game-ending double play, the Tigers seemed to know there was still work to do because they celebrated as if it was just another victory by simply shaking hands on the infield.

"We got one more game and, hopefully, a whole lot more," Raburn said.

The Tigers, of course, had been watching the scoreboard and saw that Minnesota took a big, early lead over Kansas City.

"C'mon, keep going!" Leyland shouted at the TV in his office when Kansas City homered to pulled within four in the sixth inning. The Twins went on to win 13-4.

Verlander (19-9) was handed a 5-0 lead, then left in the eighth as it got tense at Comerica Park.

Down 5-3, the White Sox had two on when Carlos Quentin hit a shallow fly with two outs. Granderson sprinted a long way and made a fully extended, diving catch to end the inning.

Fernando Rodney got the final four outs for his 37th save in 38 chances.

Verlander set a career high in wins and matched the most any pitcher had in the majors this year.

The 26-year-old right-hander was dominant through seven innings -- giving up just two hits -- before allowing three runs, four hits and a walk in the eighth.

"I tip my hat to Verlander," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "That kid went out and did what everyone in the Tigers organization expected him to do."

Detroit got the strong start it needed to end its skid, which included a game against Minnesota on Thursday when it could've clinched the division title.

"We would have like to close it out today, but we've still got a chance," Verlander said. "We've got Rick going, and he's been great lately. We're still alive."

Chicago's John Danks (13-11) gave up four runs and seven hits over five innings, putting him over the 200-inning mark for the first time in his three-season career.

"It was nice to get to 200 innings, but I would have liked to get out of here on a better note," Danks said. "I hope there's a game Tuesday because I wouldn't want my performance today to decide this."

The defending AL Central champion White Sox finished the season 79-83.

"Our season was very bad," Guillen said.


  • Tigers star Miguel Cabrera said he just wanted to focus on the game when he was asked Sunday morning about the bruise and cut on his left cheek. Cabrera was 0 for 3, finishing the homestand 5 for 26.
  • Ordonez, whose fielding blunder in Saturday night's loss was the picture above the fold on the front page of the Detroit Free Press on Sunday, collected newspapers from the clubhouse and filled up a trash can with them before the game. "Why not?" Ordonez said. "We don't read that."
  • Guillen explained why he didn't argue the Tigers were off the bag for one of their outs in the ninth inning. "It's the last day of the season, and I've donated enough money to Major League Baseball," Guillen said. "That's $500, and I can run my boat in Venezuela for two months on that."
Copyright 2017 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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Justin Verlander picks up his 19th win of the season after striking out five in 7 2/3 innings of work.  (AP)
Justin Verlander picks up his 19th win of the season after striking out five in 7 2/3 innings of work. (AP)

Players of the Game

R. Raburn
AB 4
R 3
H 3
HR 2

M. Ordonez
AB 4
R 1
H 4
HR 1

Related Video

April 21, 2017
This weekend in baseball: AL Central (1:19)
Chicago White Sox
Scott Podsednik, DH4000012 .304
Gordon Beckham, 3B2010000 .270
    Jayson Nix, 3B1000110 .224
Carlos Quentin, LF4000003 .236
Jermaine Dye, RF2000010 .250
    Dewayne Wise, RF2010000 .225
Mark Kotsay, 1B4000001 .278
Alex Rios, CF4110001 .247
Alexei Ramirez, SS3120000 .277
Ramon Castro, C3111011 .219
Brent Lillibridge, 2B2012111 .158
2B - Ramon Castro (8, Verlander)
RBI - Ramon Castro (25), Brent Lillibridge 2 (3)
CS - Brent Lillibridge (3, 2nd base by Verlander/Laird)
Team LOB - 3
Outfield Assists - Dewayne Wise 1
DP - Beckham-Kotsay, Wise-Castro
Chicago White Sox
John Danks (L,13-11) 5744412 3.77
Daniel Hudson 2311021 3.38
Carlos Torres 1200000 6.04
IBB - Cabrera by John Danks
WP - Daniel Hudson (1)
Pitches-Strikes - John Danks 89-53, Daniel Hudson 36-23, Carlos Torres 15-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - John Danks 8-5, Daniel Hudson 1-3, Carlos Torres 1-1
Batters Faced - John Danks 25, Daniel Hudson 9, Carlos Torres 4
Detroit Tigers
Ryan Raburn, LF4333101 .288
Placido Polanco, 2B5000004 .286
Magglio Ordonez, RF4141000 .309
    Clete Thomas, PR-RF0000000 .241
Miguel Cabrera, 1B3000102 .323
Carlos Guillen, DH3011101 .245
Brandon Inge, 3B4010014 .230
Curtis Granderson, CF4000016 .248
Gerald Laird, C3120100 .229
Adam Everett, SS2010010 .238
2B - Magglio Ordonez (24, Danks)
HR - Ryan Raburn 2 (16, Danks, Hudson), Magglio Ordonez (8, Danks)
SH - Adam Everett 2 (15)
RBI - Ryan Raburn 3 (45), Magglio Ordonez (48), Carlos Guillen (41)
2-OUT RBI - Ryan Raburn (19)
Team LOB - 9
Outfield Assists - Curtis Granderson 1
DP - Granderson-Polanco, Polanco-Everett-Cabrera
Detroit Tigers
Justin Verlander (W,19-9) 7.2633250 3.45
Fernando Rodney (S,37) 1.1100000 4.33
WP - Justin Verlander (8)
Pitches-Strikes - Justin Verlander 119-78, Fernando Rodney 14-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Justin Verlander 5-11, Fernando Rodney 2-1
Batters Faced - Justin Verlander 29, Fernando Rodney 4
Game Information
Attendance - 35806
Game Time - 2:26
Temperature - 54
Umpires - Home - Jeff Nelson, First Base - Bob Davidson, Second Base - Tim Tschida, Third Base - Mark Carlson