St. Louis at Detroit

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St. Louis (34-34)000001200350
Detroit (33-34) «13001100x6121

Verlander leads Tigers over Cardinals

CBSSports.com wire reports
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DETROIT -- Justin Verlander had struck out only two hitters all night, but with the tying run suddenly on base after another Detroit miscue in the field, the right-hander let loose a bit.

"The mindset is: OK, turn the page," Verlander said. "Pick up my teammate."

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Verlander struck out Allen Craig with the bases full to end the seventh inning, and the Tigers breezed from there to a 6-3 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday night. Detroit outfielder Quintin Berry dropped a flyball to keep the St. Louis rally going in the seventh, but that error ended up as a mere footnote in the Tigers' eighth win in 11 games.

Verlander (7-4) allowed one earned run in seven innings. He allowed five hits and walked four, striking out only three.

"I was trying to be economical," Verlander said. "My guys gave me a four-, five-run lead, I'm not trying to go out there and strike out anybody."

Joaquin Benoit worked the eighth, and Phil Coke pitched a perfect ninth for his first save of the year. Detroit closer Jose Valverde felt pain in his right wrist while warming up and couldn't pitch. He said afterward he was hopeful the injury wasn't serious.

Lance Lynn (10-3) allowed five runs and nine hits in five innings. He struck out four and walked two.

"I really needed my A game tonight, especially against Verlander, but I didn't bring it," Lynn said. "My fastball wasn't where I wanted it tonight, and I was leaving too many pitches up."

Austin Jackson hit a two-run double for the Tigers, part of their three-run second inning.

Verlander worked at least six innings for a 57th straight start, the longest streak since Steve Carlton's 69-gamer from 1979-82. Last year's AL Cy Young and MVP winner had struck out at least four batters in every start this season, but the Cardinals were able to make consistent contact.

Verlander allowed a hit and two walks in the seventh to load the bases before Berry, the left fielder, dropped Carlos Beltran's deep flyball for an error that allowed two runs to score, making it 6-3. Detroit has already made its share of big mistakes in the field this year, and after a walk to Matt Holliday, the bases were loaded again.

With Craig hitting, Verlander reached 101 mph with his 105th pitch of the night. Then he hit 100 with the next one. Two pitches later, Craig chased a breaking ball for strike three.

"We put a little pressure on him late, but we couldn't get the big hit that we needed," St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said. "Our guys were definitely up for the challenge, but that's what he does. The great ones always have that extra gear when they need it."

The Tigers are slowly climbing out of a hole in the AL Central. They trail first-place Cleveland by two games.

"Hopefully some of the people that fell off the bandwagon -- and rightfully so -- we can earn their respect and get them back on the bandwagon," Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. "That's normally the way it works."

Miguel Cabrera doubled in the first and scored on a single by Delmon Young. Jackson's double with the bases loaded in the second made it 3-0, and Berry followed with an RBI groundout.

Young brought home another run with a single in the fifth.

Lynn had allowed five runs only one other time as a starter, on June 2, 2011, against San Francisco.

Holliday drove in a run with a sixth-inning groundout, but Cabrera's RBI single in the bottom half made it 6-1.

Notes

  • Detroit activated RHP Octavio Dotel from the disabled list and optioned RHP Thad Weber to Triple-A Toledo. The Tigers also released Toledo DH Brad Eldred, saying he had decided to sign with the Hiroshima Toyo Carp of Japan.
  • Verlander is 18-2 in 24 starts in interleague play.
  • Detroit LHP Drew Smyly (blister on left middle finger) threw a bullpen session Tuesday and says he'll be ready when he's eligible to come off the DL on June 26.
  • Detroit RHP Rick Porcello (4-4) will face St. Louis RHP Jake Westbrook (5-6) on Wednesday night.
 
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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The Tigers' Justin Verlander retires 12 of the first 13 batters he faces en route to his victory against the Cardinals.  (US Presswire)
The Tigers' Justin Verlander retires 12 of the first 13 batters he faces en route to his victory against the Cardinals. (US Presswire)

Players of the Game
Detroit

M. Cabrera
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
St. Louis

D. Descalso
AB 3
R 2
H 2
HR 0
RBI 0
 

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St. Louis Cardinals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Rafael Furcal, SS4000100 .283
Carlos Beltran, RF4010000 .305
Matt Holliday, DH3011100 .283
Allen Craig, LF3000114 .327
Yadier Molina, C4010002 .324
David Freese, 3B3100121 .267
Matt Adams, 1B4000002 .244
Skip Schumaker, CF3000002 .310
   a- Shane Robinson, PH1000010 .257
Daniel Descalso, 2B3220010 .236
   b- Tyler Greene, PH1000000 .229
Totals3335145  
a-struck out for Schumaker in the 9th
b-grounded out for Descalso in the 9th
Batting
2B - Matt Holliday (13, Verlander)
RBI - Matt Holliday (42)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Allen Craig 1
DP - Furcal-Descalso-Adams
St. Louis Cardinals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Lance Lynn (L,10-3) 5955240 2.80
Sam Freeman 1211010 6.14
Victor Marte 1100200 3.52
Fernando Salas 1000010 4.37
HBP - Santiago (by Sam Freeman)
Pitches-Strikes - Lance Lynn 102-62, Sam Freeman 24-15, Victor Marte 21-11, Fernando Salas 16-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Lance Lynn 5-5, Victor Marte 2-0, Fernando Salas 2-0
Batters Faced - Lance Lynn 25, Sam Freeman 6, Victor Marte 5, Fernando Salas 3
Detroit Tigers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Austin Jackson, CF5012012 .320
Quintin Berry, LF5121020 .337
Miguel Cabrera, 3B4121111 .313
Prince Fielder, 1B3000113 .311
Delmon Young, DH4022000 .265
Brennan Boesch, RF3110100 .241
    Don Kelly, RF0000000 .190
Jhonny Peralta, SS4120012 .268
Ramon Santiago, 2B2210100 .233
Gerald Laird, C4010005 .294
Totals34612646  
Batting
2B - Austin Jackson (14, Lynn), Miguel Cabrera (20, Lynn)
RBI - Austin Jackson 2 (29), Quintin Berry (7), Miguel Cabrera (55), Delmon Young 2 (24)
2-OUT RBI - Miguel Cabrera (18), Delmon Young (11)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
E - Quintin Berry (1, Dropped fly)
Detroit Tigers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Justin Verlander (W,7-4) 7531430 2.57
Joaquin Benoit (H,17) 1000010 1.99
Phil Coke (S,1) 1000010 3.60
Pitches-Strikes - Justin Verlander 108-70, Joaquin Benoit 9-6, Phil Coke 11-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Justin Verlander 9-10, Joaquin Benoit 1-1, Phil Coke 1-1
Batters Faced - Justin Verlander 31, Joaquin Benoit 3, Phil Coke 3
Game Information
Attendance - 36733
Game Time - 2:56
Temperature - 92
Umpires - Home - Tim McClelland, First Base - Brian Runge, Second Base - Ted Barrett, Third Base - Marvin Hudson