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N.Y. Mets (41-40)0100000102101
Detroit (44-38) «01301000x5100

Verlander earns 11th win, Tigers avoid Mets sweep

CBSSports.com wire reports
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DETROIT -- By Justin Verlander's lofty standards, this was a so-so performance.

It was more than enough to boost a battered Detroit pitching staff.

Verlander pitched seven solid innings Thursday to lead the Tigers to a 5-2 win over the big-hitting New York Mets. Detroit had allowed 30 runs in the first two games of the series, but Verlander finished a terrific June by holding New York at bay, preventing a sweep.

"Each day is a new day in baseball, and that's the beautiful thing about this. They go out and score however many runs in two days with a bunch of hits, but you turn the page," Verlander said. "You've got to know as a starting pitcher, no matter what they've done before, if you make your pitches and execute, good pitching beats good hitting."

The Mets had scored a team-record 52 runs in their previous four games. Verlander (11-3) held them to one run and seven hits. He finished June with a 6-0 record and a 0.92 ERA, and tied CC Sabathia for the major league lead in wins this season.

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Verlander has won his last seven starts, allowing two or fewer runs in each.

"He's awesome," Mets star Jose Reyes said. "We had him in trouble a couple times, but he always makes a pitch to get out of it. That's why he is one of the best in the game."

Daniel Murphy and Carlos Beltran homered for New York's only runs. Andy Dirks hit a solo shot for the Tigers.

Mike Pelfrey (4-7) allowed four earned runs in 4 2/3 innings for the Mets, who start a three-game home series against the Yankees on Friday night.

Detroit needed a good start from Verlander after losing 16-9 the previous night and 14-3 on Tuesday. Every Tiger that pitched Wednesday gave up at least one run - except utilityman Don Kelly, who took the mound during the ninth that night in an amusing scene.

Verlander was up to the task. He threw 120 pitches, striking out six and walking two. It wasn't his most dominating effort, but it came at an important time.

"I didn't pitch well, I battled well," Verlander said. "That's something I pride myself on. I've been on a pretty good run here, had pretty doggone good stuff for a period of time here. You've got to know that that's not going to last an entire season."

About the only thing Verlander didn't do was get Reyes out. The splendid shortstop reached base in all three plate appearances against the Detroit ace, but didn't come around to score.

Reyes led off the game with a double, and the Mets seemed ready to break loose once again. But Jason Pridie followed by lining into a double play.

Verlander said the Tigers actually caught a break when they let Reyes stretch his bloop hit into a double because second baseman Ramon Santiago stayed in position to catch Pridie's hit.

"We kind of got lucky there," Verlander said. "If he's on first base -- that's assuming he hasn't stolen second base yet -- we're playing double-play depth. That ball off the end of the bat is a base hit."

With the Mets down 5-1, Lucas Duda led off the seventh with a triple, but he was thrown out by left fielder Brennan Boesch when he tagged up and tried to score on a fly ball. Mets manager Terry Collins came out to argue, but to no avail.

"The way he's pitching right now, it's unbelievable," Dirks said. "We just try to play good defense behind him and put up some runs and win the ballgame."

Joaquin Benoit relieved Verlander and allowed Beltran's 12th homer of the season. The Mets hit no homers in their 16-run outburst Wednesday.

Jose Valverde finished for his 19th save.

Pelfrey gave up eight hits and struck out three. He tied a career high with five walks, all in the first three innings. Detroit left the bases loaded in the first, but Austin Jackson hit an RBI single for the Tigers in the second to make it 1-all after Murphy homered in the top half.

The Tigers loaded the bases with one out in the third, and Alex Avila hit a sacrifice fly. Santiago then hit an RBI single, and center fielder Angel Pagan's throw to third was wild for an error, allowing another run to come home.

Dirks homered in the fifth to make it 5-1.

New York right-hander Manny Acosta left in the eighth with a hyperextended wrist on his throwing arm after making an acrobatic play to field a bunt by Santiago.

Notes

  • Dirks, a rookie, has six homers in 92 at-bats.
  • Reyes' double was his 213th, passing Edgardo Alfonzo for fourth place on the franchise's career list.
 
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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Justin Verlander holds the Mets to one run and finishes June with a 6-0 record. (US Presswire)
Justin Verlander holds the Mets to one run and finishes June with a 6-0 record. (US Presswire)

Players of the Game
Detroit

A. Dirks
AB 3
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
New York

D. Murphy
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
 
New York Mets
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jose Reyes, SS3020100 .352
Jason Pridie, RF4000032 .233
Carlos Beltran, DH4111022 .281
Daniel Murphy, 3B4121000 .302
Angel Pagan, CF4010001 .263
Jason Bay, LF4020000 .241
Lucas Duda, 1B4010013 .227
Josh Thole, C3010111 .254
Ruben Tejada, 2B3000001 .279
   a- Fernando Martinez, PH1000011 .238
Totals34210228  
a-struck out for Tejada in the 9th
Batting
2B - Jose Reyes (22, Verlander), Daniel Murphy (14, Benoit), Josh Thole (9, Valverde)
3B - Lucas Duda (1, Verlander)
HR - Carlos Beltran (12, Benoit), Daniel Murphy (5, Verlander)
RBI - Carlos Beltran (54), Daniel Murphy (33)
2-OUT RBI - Carlos Beltran (22)
CS - Jose Reyes (6, 2nd base by Verlander/Avila)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Tejada-Reyes-Duda, Murphy-Tejada-Duda
E - Angel Pagan (4, Throwing)
New York Mets
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Mike Pelfrey (L,4-7) 4.2854531 4.92
Tim Byrdak 0.2200010 3.98
D.J. Carrasco 1.2000010 5.40
Manny Acosta 0.1000000 9.35
Francisco Rodriguez 0.2000010 3.58
HBP - Dirks (by D.J. Carrasco), Inge (by Francisco Rodriguez)
Pitches-Strikes - Mike Pelfrey 109-62, Tim Byrdak 14-10, D.J. Carrasco 18-10, Manny Acosta 2-1, Francisco Rodriguez 7-4
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mike Pelfrey 3-7, D.J. Carrasco 3-0, Manny Acosta 1-0, Francisco Rodriguez 1-0
Batters Faced - Mike Pelfrey 26, Tim Byrdak 4, D.J. Carrasco 5, Manny Acosta 1, Francisco Rodriguez 3
Detroit Tigers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Austin Jackson, CF4011123 .248
Don Kelly, 3B3000111 .250
    Brandon Inge, 3B0000000 .199
Brennan Boesch, LF5020014 .302
    Casper Wells, RF0000000 .258
Miguel Cabrera, 1B3000102 .332
Victor Martinez, DH3110110 .329
Andy Dirks, RF-LF3221003 .261
Jhonny Peralta, SS3210101 .313
Alex Avila, C3011001 .303
Ramon Santiago, 2B4021011 .219
Totals31510456  
Batting
2B - Victor Martinez (21, Pelfrey)
HR - Andy Dirks (6, Pelfrey)
SF - Alex Avila (7)
RBI - Austin Jackson (23), Andy Dirks (14), Alex Avila (46), Ramon Santiago (7)
2-OUT RBI - Austin Jackson (10), Ramon Santiago (2)
SB - Austin Jackson (14, 2nd base off Pelfrey/Thole), Andy Dirks (3, 2nd base off Carrasco/Thole)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Brennan Boesch 1
DP - Santiago-Peralta, Boesch-Avila
Detroit Tigers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Justin Verlander (W,11-3) 7711261 2.32
Joaquin Benoit 1211011 4.75
Jose Valverde (S,19) 1100010 2.36
Pitches-Strikes - Justin Verlander 120-80, Joaquin Benoit 23-15, Jose Valverde 10-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Justin Verlander 3-9, Joaquin Benoit 1-1
Batters Faced - Justin Verlander 27, Joaquin Benoit 5, Jose Valverde 4
Game Information
Attendance - 31861
Game Time - 3:15
Temperature - 81
Umpires - Home - Lance Barrett, First Base - Alfonso Marquez, Second Base - Ed Hickox, Third Base - Ed Rapuano