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|Chi. Cubs (21-42)||0||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||3||6||0|
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.
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.
|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|
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|Austin Jackson, CF||4||2||3||3||1||1||1||.323|
|Brennan Boesch, RF||4||0||1||0||0||1||3||.252|
|Jose Valverde, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Miguel Cabrera, 3B||5||0||0||0||0||0||6||.307|
|Prince Fielder, 1B||3||0||1||1||0||1||0||.314|
|Delmon Young, LF||4||0||2||0||0||0||2||.263|
|Quintin Berry, PR-LF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.296|
|Jhonny Peralta, SS||4||1||1||0||0||0||3||.267|
|Ryan Raburn, 2B||3||1||2||1||0||1||0||.159|
|Ramon Santiago, 2B||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.206|
|Gerald Laird, C||3||0||0||0||1||0||2||.288|
|Justin Verlander, P||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Don Kelly, PH-RF||1||1||1||0||0||0||0||.190|
|a-tripled for Verlander in the 9th|
|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|
|Outfield Assists - Delmon Young 1|
|DP - Peralta-Fielder|
|Justin Verlander (W,6-4)||8||5||2||2||0||8||0||2.66|
|Jose Valverde (S,13)||1||1||1||1||0||1||0||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|
|Tony Campana, CF||4||1||1||0||0||1||0||.276|
|Starlin Castro, SS||4||0||0||0||0||1||1||.295|
|David DeJesus, RF||4||0||0||1||0||0||0||.263|
|Alfonso Soriano, LF||4||1||1||0||0||2||0||.280|
|Bryan LaHair, 1B||3||1||1||0||0||2||0||.303|
|Steve Clevenger, C||3||0||0||0||0||2||2||.281|
|Darwin Barney, 2B||3||0||2||1||0||0||0||.279|
|Luis Valbuena, 3B||3||0||0||1||0||0||1||.000|
|Travis Wood, P||2||0||1||0||0||0||1||.400|
|Randy Wells, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.333|
|James Russell, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Reed Johnson, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.298|
|Shawn Camp, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-struck out for Russell in the 8th|
|2B - Tony Campana (5, Valverde), Darwin Barney (15, Verlander)|
|RBI - David DeJesus (17), Darwin Barney (21), Luis Valbuena (1)|
|Team LOB - 1|
|DP - Valbuena-Barney-LaHair, Wood-Barney-LaHair, Valbuena-Barney-LaHair|
|Travis Wood (L,0-3)||6.2||8||3||3||2||3||0||4.58|
|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|
|Attendance - 42292|
|Game Time - 2:40|
|Temperature - 79|
|Umpires - Home - Tony Randazzo, First Base - Brian Gorman, Second Base - Todd Tichenor, Third Base - Larry Vanover|