Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Another Gem for Verlander

The Tigers blanked the Indians 4-0 tonight behind the brilliant pitching of Justin Verlander.  The Tigers' ace threatened to toss his second no hitter of the season and third of his career, but fell five outs short.  With one out in the eighth inning, Indians second baseman Orlando Cabrera stroked a clean single to center field to break up the no no.  Justin had to settle for a two-hit complete game shutout.  He also struck out a season-high twelve batters and walked just one.  It was a truly dominating performance by Mr. Verlander.

The Tigers scored all the runs they would need in a three-run third.  The runs scored on on a bases-loaded sacrifice fly by Miguel Cabrera, a single by Andy Dirks and another sacrifice fly by Alex Avila.  Dirks (3 singles) and Austin Jackson (2 singles) paced Detroit's 11-hit attack.

One thing the Tigers did not do tonight was get an extra base hit.  This ended a streak off 66 games with at least one extra base hit going back to the beginning of the season.  It was the longest streak to start a season for the Tigers since 1919, the first year for which complete records are avialable.  The previous team record was 51 by the 1986 Tigers.  The longest streak in the majors was 143 by the 1996 Indians. 

 The Tigers are now in sole possession of first place for the first time this season.  Game two of the series is tomorrow night with Brad Penny facing Fausto Carmona.

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