Justin Verlander picked up his league leading 17th victory last night in the Tigers’ 4-3 win over the Indians. More importantly for Detroit, Verlander avoided the sweep and pushed the club’s lead back to 3 games over the Tribe in the AL Central.
The offense happened early and often last night before the pitchers were able to take control of the game. Detroit took an early 4-0 advantage thanks to two singles and a pair of sacrifices against Indians’ starter Fausto Carmona.
But that would be all the Indians would muster off of the All Star as Verlander only surrendered a walk and single over his final 4 frames. He finished the night allowing 3 earned runs on 3 hits and 3 walks.
Verlander passed the baton to Detroit’s late inning relievers, and they carried it to the finish line. Joaquin Benoit and Jose Valverde combined to pitch a perfect 8th and 9th, sealing the W for the Tigers and Verlander.
The win is Verlander’s 100th of his career, and he’s now won 17 or more games in 5 of his 6 seasons in the bigs.
Focusing on 2011, the victory only continues Verlander’s march towards the AL Cy Young award. While C.C. Sabathia and Jered Weaver are still in the mix, Verlander leads them both in innings pitched, strike outs and WHIP.
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