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Detroit (35-37) «200000010370
Pittsburgh (38-33)000000200250

Tigers hold off late rally to beat Pirates

CBSSports.com wire reports
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PITTSBURGH -- Justin Verlander "didn't feel particularly great" Sunday.

So what did he do on a ho-hum day?

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He threw a five-hitter, helping the Detroit Tigers beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-2.

"We had the horse going," said Detroit manager Jim Leyland, "and he pitched like the horse is supposed to pitch."

Quintin Berry hit a two-run shot for his first major league home run. He also scored the go-ahead run on Delmon Young's single in the eighth, an inning after Garrett Jones tied it with a two-run homer.

"Stupid pitch," Verlander said. "Bad location. All of the above."

Five weeks after he took a no-hitter into the ninth against the Pirates in Detroit on May 18, that was the only mistake Verlander (8-4) would make.

He had allowed only two infield hits through six innings Sunday before Pedro Alvarez singled with one out in the seventh. Jones followed by launching a 1-1 changeup into a sliver of seating in right-center.

Verlander retired all six Pirates he faced to close out the game after the Tigers retook the lead. Verlander struck out three in the final two innings to give him seven in the game.

Andrew McCutchen entered on a 15-for-28 tear but capped an 0-for-4 day against Verlander by flying out to begin the ninth. Casey McGehee and Alvarez struck out to end the game.

"That was not an easy order to go through in the ninth inning, and he took charge of that ninth inning pretty good," Leyland said.

"That's why he's, in my opinion, the best pitcher in baseball," Leyland said.

Verlander needed 117 pitches to toss his fourth complete game of the season and 18th of his career. He has won three consecutive starts.

"I actually didn't feel particularly great," Verlander said. "But at least my location was there. I was able to locate pretty well and got a lot of weak contact because of that. I didn't have the flashy fastball or anything, but I was able to pitch and go nine innings."

Detroit avoided a sweep, winning for only the second time in five games.

Berry's homer off of Kevin Correia four pitches into the game was his first in 96 career big league at-bats. Austin Jackson singled ahead of Berry.

"I willed that thing out," Berry said. "Ever since it went up in the air, I pushed it out with everything I had."

Pittsburgh remained one game behind the Cincinnati Reds, who lost to Minnesota, in the NL Central.

The Tigers matched their run total for the first two games of the series combined before many in the crowd of 35,179 had even settled into their seats. The series drew 111,878 to PNC Park, the fifth-most for a three-game series at the 12-year-old ballpark.

Pittsburgh had won 16 of its past 20 at home and had already clinched its fifth consecutive series victory at PNC Park with consecutive 4-1 wins Friday and Saturday.

A sweep appeared out of the question once Verlander was handed a two-run lead. But Jones tied it with his ninth homer and second in four games.

"I was geared up to hit the fastball, but he hung a changeup and I was able to recognize it, stay through it and get the good part of the bat on it," Jones said.

The tie lasted only a half-inning. Berry walked with one out and stole second. Chris Resop (0-3) intentionally walked Prince Fielder to face Young, who was 1 for 9 in the series until singling in his previous at-bat.

He singled to right to score Berry.

After allowing the home run two batters into the game, Correia retire 12 of the next 15 and did not allow another runner to advance past second.

"I pitched pretty good after [Berry's homer]," Correia said, "but it's tough to spot a guy like Verlander two runs. I knew after that that's all I could give up if I was going to keep us in the game."

Counting 5 1-3 shutout innings in a win against Minnesota Tuesday, Correia has put together two consecutive strong outings.

Correia was thought to be a candidate to be the odd man out of the rotation when Jeff Karstens was activated from the disabled list this week, but after the game the Pirates announced that Karstens would start Monday in Philadelphia.

Brad Lincoln is returning to the bullpen. The rest of the Pittsburgh rotation is being pushed back a day. A corresponding roster move will be made Monday.

Notes

  • Pirates manager Clint Hurdle was ejected by home plate umpire Marty Foster for arguing a checked-swing call on McGehee.
  • Pittsburgh claimed INF/OF Drew Sutton off waivers from Tampa Bay. He will report to the team later in the week. The Pirates also recalled RHP Bryan Morris before the game and optioned INF Jordy Mercer to Triple-A.
  • The Tigers continue their road trip with three games in Texas. RHP Rick Porcello (4-5, 4.95) will start Monday. After Sunday's game, the team announced LHP Drew Smyly will come off the disabled list to start Tuesday. RHP Jacob Turner was optioned to Triple-A Toledo.
 
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 helps the Tigers avoid a sweep by giving up just five hits during his complete-game victory over the Pirates. (Getty Images)
Justin Verlander helps the Tigers avoid a sweep by giving up just five hits during his complete-game victory over the Pirates. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
Detroit

Q. Berry
AB 2
R 2
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
Pittsburgh

G. Jones
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
 
Detroit Tigers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Austin Jackson, CF4120011 .313
Quintin Berry, RF2212211 .309
Miguel Cabrera, 3B4010010 .301
Prince Fielder, 1B3000102 .304
Delmon Young, LF4021000 .264
    Danny Worth, 2B0000000 .182
Alex Avila, C4000011 .234
Jhonny Peralta, SS4000000 .258
Ryan Raburn, 2B-LF4010020 .168
Justin Verlander, P2000010 .000
Totals3137337  
Batting
HR - Quintin Berry (1, Correia)
SH - Justin Verlander (4)
RBI - Quintin Berry 2 (10), Delmon Young (25)
2-OUT RBI - Delmon Young (12)
SB - Quintin Berry (11, 2nd base off Resop/McKenry)
CS - Austin Jackson (1, 2nd base by Correia/McKenry)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Cabrera-Raburn-Fielder
Detroit Tigers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Justin Verlander (W,8-4) 9522171 2.52
Pitches-Strikes - Justin Verlander 117-78
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Justin Verlander 5-14
Batters Faced - Justin Verlander 32
Pittsburgh Pirates
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Alex Presley, LF3010101 .236
Josh Harrison, 2B4000003 .231
Andrew McCutchen, CF4000012 .340
Casey McGehee, 1B4000021 .233
Pedro Alvarez, 3B4110020 .223
Garrett Jones, RF3112000 .251
Clint Barmes, SS3010000 .204
Michael McKenry, C3010011 .174
Kevin Correia, P0000000 .150
   a- Matt Hague, PH1000000 .239
    Chris Resop, P0000000 .000
   b- Jose Tabata, PH1000010 .226
    Juan Cruz, P0000000 .000
Totals3025217  
a-flied out for Correia in the 6th
b-struck out for Resop in the 8th
Batting
HR - Garrett Jones (9, Verlander)
SH - Kevin Correia (4)
RBI - Garrett Jones 2 (27)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Garrett Jones 1
Pittsburgh Pirates
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Kevin Correia 6622141 4.03
Chris Resop (L,0-3) 2111210 3.86
Juan Cruz 1000020 2.52
IBB - Fielder by Chris Resop
Pitches-Strikes - Kevin Correia 86-57, Chris Resop 28-15, Juan Cruz 17-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kevin Correia 9-4, Chris Resop 1-3, Juan Cruz 1-0
Batters Faced - Kevin Correia 24, Chris Resop 8, Juan Cruz 3
Game Information
Attendance - 35179
Game Time - 2:40
Temperature - 80
Umpires - Home - Marty Foster, First Base - Tim Timmons, Second Base - Jeff Kellogg, Third Base - Eric Cooper