Justin Verlander registered his major league leading 18th win of the season as the Tigers topped the Twins 7-to-1 last night at Comerica Park. The victory allowed Detroit to boost its Central Division lead to 3 games over the second place Indians, who lost to the White Sox.
Verlander fanned eight through seven-and-two-third frames of one-run ball to up his mark to 18-and-5. He also picked up his 200th strikeout of the season along the way. Miguel Cabrera went 2-for-3 with three RBI’s and Ramon Santiago added a solo homer forDetroit.
After the game, Verlander said that following a slow start when he had to battle his way through a 29-pitch first inning, his rhythm returned as the night wore on.
Stopper should be Verlander’s middle name. Fourteen of his victories this season, including his latest win, have come directly following a Detroit loss. The Tigers and Twins tonight will play the rubber game of their three game series with Brad Penny starting for Detroit against Minnesota’s Carl Pavano.
Last night in Chicago, the third place White Sox got by Cleveland 8-to-7 in 14-innings and are now just a half game behind the Indians. Meanwhile, the Cubs lost 6-to-5 last night at Houston as the Astros stopped a 7-game losing streak, getting a walk-off pinch hit grand slam in the bottom of the ninth.