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Detroit at Chicago

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Detroit (30-33) «1100001025110
Chi. Cubs (21-42)020000001360

Verlander solid for first win in month

CBSSports.com wire reports
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CHICAGO -- Justin Verlander was running in the outfield Thursday when he heard a round of cheers from the sizeable contingent of Detroit Tigers fans that packed Wrigley Field for the series finale against the Chicago Cubs.

"I got chills," Verlander said.

He returned the favor during an important 5-3 victory, pitching eight solid innings and helping himself with a pair of sacrifices as Detroit capped an encouraging 4-2 interleague road trip through Cincinnati and Chicago.

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While Verlander shut down the Cubs in another impressive performance, Austin Jackson hit a tiebreaking RBI single in the seventh and a two-run homer in the ninth to help the Tigers to their fourth victory in five games.

"We've got to start winning two out of three," manager Jim Leyland said. "That's how you crawl back into the thing."

The combination of Verlander and a picturesque day in Chicago led to a season-high crowd of 42,292 that ran the total for the series to 124,782, setting a Wrigley Field record for a midweek three-game set. Tigers fans made up a good amount of that total, and they cheered everything Verlander did in the finale.

"It's a lot more fun when you hear all the fans chanting 'Let's go Tigers' on the road," Jackson said.

The Cubs scored two runs in the second on Darwin Barney's double and Luis Valbuena's groundout, but that was it against the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner.

Verlander, who also won the MVP award for his dominant 2011 season, retired 10 in a row and 16 of 17 batters following Barney's one-out hit in the second. Pitcher Travis Wood was the only one to reach during that string, but he was cut down trying to stretch his two-out liner in the fifth into a double.

"After the second I started getting my rhythm a little bit," Verlander said. "I started throwing my breaking ball for strikes. Keeping guys off balance and just making better pitches."

Verlander (6-4) yielded five hits, struck out eight and walked none in his first victory since he flirted with a no-hitter while allowing just one hit in a 6-0 victory against Pittsburgh on May 18. The ace right-hander was 0-3 with a 4.10 ERA in his previous four starts.

"He kind of stays on you the whole time," Cubs center fielder Tony Campana said. "He mixes his pitches so well and that's why he's so good."

Campana doubled and scored in the ninth before Jose Valverde finished for his 13th save in 16 chances.

Jackson also hit a leadoff double in the first and scored on Prince Fielder's double. He went 3 for 4 and is batting .359 (23 for 64) in his last 17 games.

Wood (0-3) allowed three runs and eight hits in 6 2/3 innings. The left-hander struck out three, walked two and hit two batters.

"It was another battle for me out there today," he said. "I found a lot of trouble but I was able to keep it close and pitch out of a lot of jams. A guy like Verlander is a great pitcher even when he doesn't have his `A' game. We battled but just came up short."

Verlander went 0 for 1 to leave him hitless in 22 career at-bats, but that didn't diminish his day at the plate. He moved Ryan Raburn to second with a perfect sacrifice in the seventh and Jackson followed with a base hit to give the Tigers a 3-2 lead.

Notes

  • Raburn went 2 for 3 after he was recalled from Triple-A Toledo before the game when the Tigers placed LHP Drew Smyly (blister) on the 15-day disabled list.
  • Valbuena was promoted from Triple-A Iowa earlier in the day, and went 0 for 3. The Cubs also put 3B Ian Stewart (sore left wrist) on the DL, activated C Welington Castillo from the injured list and designated C Koyie Hill for assignment.
  • Detroit RHP Doug Fister will come off the DL to start Saturday's home game against Colorado. He had been sidelined with a left side strain. The Tigers will make a corresponding roster move before the game.
  • Michigan State men's basketball coach Tom Izzo was on the field before the game.
  • The Cubs host the Boston Red Sox for a three-game series beginning on Friday afternoon. RHP Ryan Dempster (2-3, 2.31 ERA) faces Red Sox RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka (0-1, 7.20 ERA) in the opener.
  • The Tigers return home to open a three-game set against Colorado on Friday night. LHP Casey Crosby (1-1, 9.35 ERA) and Rockies LHP Jeff Francis (0-1, 21.60 ERA) are scheduled to face off in the first game.
 
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, who retires 10 in a row at one point, also helps his cause with a pair of sacrifices. (AP)
Justin Verlander, who retires 10 in a row at one point, also helps his cause with a pair of sacrifices. (AP)

Players of the Game
Detroit

A. Jackson
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 1
RBI 3
Detroit

J. Verlander
IP 8.0
H 5
ER 2
BB 0
K 8
 
Detroit Tigers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Austin Jackson, CF4233111 .323
Brennan Boesch, RF4010013 .252
    Jose Valverde, P0000000 .000
Miguel Cabrera, 3B5000006 .307
Prince Fielder, 1B3011010 .314
Delmon Young, LF4020002 .263
    Quintin Berry, PR-LF0000000 .296
Jhonny Peralta, SS4110003 .267
Ryan Raburn, 2B3121010 .159
    Ramon Santiago, 2B1000011 .206
Gerald Laird, C3000102 .288
Justin Verlander, P1000000 .000
   a- Don Kelly, PH-RF1110000 .190
Totals33511525  
a-tripled for Verlander in the 9th
Batting
2B - Austin Jackson (12, Wood), Prince Fielder (13, Wood), Ryan Raburn (6, Wood)
3B - Don Kelly (1, Camp)
HR - Austin Jackson (7, Camp)
SH - Justin Verlander 2 (3)
RBI - Austin Jackson 3 (25), Prince Fielder (41), Ryan Raburn (8)
2-OUT RBI - Austin Jackson (5), Prince Fielder (16)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Delmon Young 1
DP - Peralta-Fielder
Detroit Tigers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Justin Verlander (W,6-4) 8522080 2.66
Jose Valverde (S,13) 1111010 3.95
Pitches-Strikes - Justin Verlander 103-73, Jose Valverde 12-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Justin Verlander 9-5, Jose Valverde 1-1
Batters Faced - Justin Verlander 27, Jose Valverde 4
Chicago Cubs
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Tony Campana, CF4110010 .276
Starlin Castro, SS4000011 .295
David DeJesus, RF4001000 .263
Alfonso Soriano, LF4110020 .280
Bryan LaHair, 1B3110020 .303
Steve Clevenger, C3000022 .281
Darwin Barney, 2B3021000 .279
Luis Valbuena, 3B3001001 .000
Travis Wood, P2010001 .400
    Randy Wells, P0000000 .333
    James Russell, P0000000 .000
   a- Reed Johnson, PH1000010 .298
    Shawn Camp, P0000000 .000
Totals3136309  
a-struck out for Russell in the 8th
Batting
2B - Tony Campana (5, Valverde), Darwin Barney (15, Verlander)
RBI - David DeJesus (17), Darwin Barney (21), Luis Valbuena (1)
Team LOB - 1
Fielding
DP - Valbuena-Barney-LaHair, Wood-Barney-LaHair, Valbuena-Barney-LaHair
Chicago Cubs
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Travis Wood (L,0-3) 6.2833230 4.58
Randy Wells 0.1000000 4.43
James Russell 1100020 2.73
Shawn Camp 1222001 3.21
HBP - Boesch (by Travis Wood), Fielder (by Travis Wood)
Pitches-Strikes - Travis Wood 99-62, Randy Wells 2-1, James Russell 13-11, Shawn Camp 18-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Travis Wood 8-6, Randy Wells 1-0, Shawn Camp 2-1
Batters Faced - Travis Wood 29, Randy Wells 1, James Russell 4, Shawn Camp 5
Game Information
Attendance - 42292
Game Time - 2:40
Temperature - 79
Umpires - Home - Tony Randazzo, First Base - Brian Gorman, Second Base - Todd Tichenor, Third Base - Larry Vanover