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Oakland at Detroit

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Oakland (51-33)2000001003110
Detroit (47-34) «10110600x9130

Verlander picks up win as Tigers finish sweep of A's

CBSSports.com wire reports
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DETROIT -- Justin Verlander knows he isn't going to make a sixth straight All-Star team.

A few more performances like the one Wednesday might mean he's heading in the right direction, however.

Verlander overcame a pair of long home runs in the first inning and left with a comfortable lead after the sixth as the Detroit Tigers beat the Oakland Athletics 9-3 for a three-game sweep.

Verlander (7-7) started the day looking like the pitcher who has been searching for his mechanics for most of the season. Coco Crisp began the game with a shot over the access tunnel down the right-field line, and Brandon Moss went even deeper into the right-field stands with two out.

That, though, was the last time the A's scored off the pitcher who has dominated them in each of the last two postseasons. Verlander wasn't sharp, allowing nine hits, but he didn't walk a batter.

''I didn't make a big adjustment, I just got more into my rhythm,'' he said. ''My changeup wasn't good, but I was able to throw my slider to lefties, where usually that's just fastball and curve.''

With a .500 record and a 4.71 ERA, even Verlander's years of dominance aren't going to get him to Minnesota later this month for the All-Star festivities.

''I'm not going this year -- I can pretty much guarantee that,'' he said. ''I didn't have a good first half, and I know that.''

''It's going to be the first time I get that weekend off in a while. It will be nice to get that time where I don't have to tax my arm. I've put in a lot of extra work this year, trying to find my mechanics, so the rest will be good,'' he said.

Torii Hunter hit three RBI singles and capped a six-run burst in the sixth inning. The three-time AL Central champion Tigers won for the 11th time in 13 games. The division leaders reached the halfway mark with a 47-34 mark.

Oakland still has the best record in the majors despite its stumble at Comerica Park.

The Tigers have eliminated Oakland from the postseason in each of the last two years. Detroit won this year's season series 4-2, but with both teams leading their divisions, there's a chance of a fourth October meeting since 2006.

''We won three of four here last year during the regular season, but they turned the tide on us this time,'' Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. ''This wasn't a very good series for us - getting swept never feels too good - but we do want to play them again this year.''

If there is a third matchup, the A's won't expect this version of Verlander.

''For guys like that, there is a regular-season version and a playoff version,'' Moss said. ''I guarantee you that when playoff time comes, he's going to be dominant.''

Hunter started at designated hitter for the first time in his two seasons with the Tigers. Hunter, who turns 39 on July 18, came into the game hitting .185 in his last 32 games and has struggled badly in right field.

The Tigers had a rough time, too, going 9-20 in late May and early June.

''I think it was really good for our team to go through some of those tough patches,'' second baseman Ian Kinsler. ''It taught us a lot about what type of team we are, that we could come out of that thing and still be one of the best teams in baseball.''

Jesse Chavez (6-5) struggled for the second straight start, giving up five runs in five-plus innings. Reliever Jim Johnson, who replaced him, allowed four runs while only getting one out.

''We got the lead in the first, and I gave it back,'' Chavez said. ''That's the biggest thing. As a starter, when you get the lead, you want to hang on to it.''

Notes

Victor Martinez sat out with soreness in his side, but Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said it was purely precautionary and that he should be back at DH on Thursday. ... DH Yoenis Cespedes (hamstring) and C Derek Norris (back) both returned to the lineup for Oakland. ... The A's return home for a series with Toronto, with Sonny Gray (7-3) scheduled to face R.A. Dickey (6-7). ... Detroit remains home for a four-game weekend series with Tampa Bay. Max Scherzer (9-3) is scheduled to pitch the opener against Erik Bedard (4-5).

 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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Justin Verlander settles down after a rough first inning to earn his first victory in over a month.  (USATSI)
Justin Verlander settles down after a rough first inning to earn his first victory in over a month. (USATSI)

Players of the Game
Oakland

B. Moss
AB 4
R 1
H 4
HR 1
RBI 2
Detroit

T. Hunter
AB 4
R 0
H 3
HR 0
RBI 3
 
Oakland Athletics
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Coco Crisp, CF4231000 .292
   Craig Gentry, CF1000000 .275
Alberto Callaspo, 3B5000021 .236
Yoenis Cespedes, DH4010001 .272
Brandon Moss, RF4142000 .274
Derek Norris, C4020011 .309
Stephen Vogt, LF4010005 .338
Jed Lowrie, SS4000013 .223
Nate Freiman, 1B3000011 .143
Nick Punto, 2B4000024 .223
Jesse Chavez, P0000000 .000
   Jim Johnson, P0000000 .000
   Ryan Cook, P0000000 .000
   Fernando Abad, P0000000 .000
   Jeff Francis, P0000000 .000
Totals37311307  
Batting
2B - Brandon Moss (15, Verlander)
HR - Coco Crisp (7, Verlander), Brandon Moss (19, Verlander)
RBI - Coco Crisp (29), Brandon Moss 2 (62)
2-OUT RBI - Brandon Moss 2 (27)
CS - Coco Crisp (3, 2nd base by Verlander/Avila)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Callaspo-Punto-Freiman
Oakland Athletics
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jesse Chavez (L,6-5) 5855450 3.23
Jim Johnson 0.1444000 5.94
Ryan Cook 0.2100000 3.80
Fernando Abad 1000020 2.14
Jeff Francis 1000010 5.89
IBB - Cabrera by Jesse Chavez
WP - Ryan Cook (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Jesse Chavez 105-61, Jim Johnson 12-7, Ryan Cook 13-9, Fernando Abad 8-7, Jeff Francis 14-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jesse Chavez 3-5, Jim Johnson 1-0, Ryan Cook 1-1, Jeff Francis 1-1
Batters Faced - Jesse Chavez 25, Jim Johnson 5, Ryan Cook 3, Fernando Abad 3, Jeff Francis 3
Detroit Tigers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Austin Jackson, CF5231010 .245
Ian Kinsler, 2B5221002 .308
Miguel Cabrera, 1B3112211 .311
J.D. Martinez, RF4010013 .315
Torii Hunter, DH4033001 .257
Nick Castellanos, 3B3100115 .268
Alex Avila, C3100130 .230
Andrew Romine, SS3110000 .222
Rajai Davis, LF4122010 .280
Justin Verlander, P0000000 .667
   Al Alburquerque, P0000000 .000
   Blaine Hardy, P0000000 .000
   Joe Nathan, P0000000 .000
Totals34913948  
Batting
2B - Austin Jackson (16, J. Chavez), Miguel Cabrera (30, Johnson)
SH - Andrew Romine (2)
RBI - Austin Jackson (23), Ian Kinsler (43), Miguel Cabrera 2 (67), Torii Hunter 3 (42), Rajai Davis 2 (29)
2-OUT RBI - Austin Jackson (4), Torii Hunter 3 (17)
CS - Rajai Davis (8, 2nd base by J. Chavez/Norris)
Team LOB - 6
Detroit Tigers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Justin Verlander (W,7-7) 6922042 4.71
Al Alburquerque 1211010 3.19
Blaine Hardy 1000020 2.61
Joe Nathan 1000000 6.16
WP - Al Alburquerque (1)
HBP - Freiman (by Justin Verlander)
Pitches-Strikes - Justin Verlander 103-67, Al Alburquerque 14-10, Blaine Hardy 11-9, Joe Nathan 6-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Justin Verlander 5-8, Al Alburquerque 2-0, Blaine Hardy 1-0, Joe Nathan 2-1
Batters Faced - Justin Verlander 27, Al Alburquerque 5, Blaine Hardy 3, Joe Nathan 3
Game Information
Attendance - 35445
Game Time - 3:02
Temperature - 79
Umpires - Home - Jerry Layne, First Base - Hunter Wendelstedt, Second Base - Mike DiMuro, Third Base - Mike Estabrook