Cleveland, OH (WKZO) – Justin Verlander was back to his old self on Tuesday night as he allowed just one run over eight innings as the Tigers have now won 10 in a row after defeating the Cleveland Indians 5-1.
Verlander hadn’t had much success against the Indians at Progressive Field this year (five ERs and 10 hits in five innings) but after allowing his only run in the second inning, he set down 18 of the last 20 Indians he faced. Verlander gave up just four hits and struck out seven with no walks while picking up his 12th win of the year. This was the first start of the year for Verlander in which he didn’t walk a batter.
The Tigers offense needed just one inning to do all their damage as they put a five spot on Indians’ starter Justin Masterson in the fifth inning, highlighted by Don Kelly’s three run home run. Kelly had three hits all coming off Masterson, who lasted seven innings and gave up seven hits and two walks and struck out six. Masterson is 0-3 against the Tigers this year.
Torii Hunter drove in the Tigers first run on a fielder’s choice, and then scored the second run after Miguel Cabrera doubled off the center field wall for his 100th RBI of the season. Cabrera has now driven in 100+ RBIs in 10 straight years, trailing Alex Rodriquez’s MLB record of 13 straight years.
Jose Veras tossed a perfect ninth in relief of Verlander.
The Tigers now hold a five game lead in the AL Central over the Indians, their largest lead since June 17th. The Tigers and Indians play the third game of their four game series on Wednesday night. Doug Fister (10-5, 3.52 ERA) gets the start against Danny Salazar (1-0, 1.50). Fister has won his last four starts and has allowed just four runs in 28 innings during that stretch. Salazar has made only one start for Cleveland in 2013.