DETROIT, MI (WKZO) – The question before Justin Verlander’s start on Wednesday was which Verlander was going to show up? Verlander was far from perfect but was able to hold the Nationals to just one run over six innings as the Tigers’ bats provided plenty of offense crushing Washington 11-1 to complete the brief two game series sweep. The Tigers are now a season high 16 games above .500 and have won five in a row.
Verlander tied a season high with five walks but fanned six Nationals while picking up his 11th win of the year. The one earned run he allowed came in the first inning on a sac fly from Jayson Werth after Verlander loaded the bases with only one down.
The Tigers offense backed Verlander with a pair of five run innings. Torii Hunter had four hits and was a triple away from the cycle as he was part of both five run innings. Hunter capped off the first five run inning during the second with his 11th home run of the year, a solo shot off of Nationals’ starter Gio Gonzalez. He added an RBI single in the fourth that started the Tigers’ second five run frame and drove in the Tigers final run in the seventh increase the Tigers lead to 11-1.
Alex Avila had his second home run in as many games, a two-run blast in the second, and scored twice. Victor Martinez had three hits and Ramon Santiago had a two run double.
Gonzalez was pulled from the game in the fourth inning and was credited with 10 runs – all earned – on 11 hits and a walk with three strikeouts. This was the shortest start of the season for Gonzalez.
Phil Coke, Al Alburquerque, and Evan Reed pitched scoreless seventh, eighth, and ninth innings, respectively.
Miguel Cabrera was held out of the lineup after straining his abdominal muscle on Tuesday’s win
The Tigers are off until Friday as they welcome the Chicago White Sox to Comerica Park for the three game series.