Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2011
Posted: 9:07 a.m.
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(AP) -- Things have gone so well for Justin Verlander, even when he's not at his best he still manages to find a way to win.
The right-hander tries to become the first Tiger in 65 years to win 11 straight starts while looking to help AL Central-leading Detroit to an 11th consecutive victory Tuesday night against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field.
Verlander (22-5, 2.44 ERA) added to his major league-leading win total in Wednesday's 8-6 victory at Cleveland despite giving up a pair of two-run homers to Shelley Duncan in six innings.
"My stuff was not as crisp as it has been," said Verlander, whose 22 wins are the most by a Tiger since Joe Coleman won 23 in 1973. "Once again, our team came through in a huge way."
Verlander's effort was good enough to pad his Cy Young Award resume by improving to 10-0 with a 2.75 ERA since losing at Chicago on July 15. He has a chance to become the first Tiger since Hall of Famer Hal Newhouser in 1946 to win 11 consecutive starts.
Two wins during Verlander's current undefeated run have come against the White Sox (73-73). After he gave up four runs in eight innings of a 5-4 victory at U.S. Cellular Field on July 26, Verlander allowed one in 7 1-3 innings of an 8-1 home win Sept. 2.
"He pretty much went through us any way he wanted," White Sox left fielder Juan Pierre said of Verlander's latest outing against them.
Verlander looks to help the Tigers (85-62) win 11 in a row for the first time since Sept. 9-21, 1968, after they trimmed their magic number to five in the Central with a 14-4 rout of the White Sox on Monday. Detroit holds a 49-15 scoring advantage during a four-game winning streak over Chicago.
"I don't know if there is a hotter team out there right now," losing pitcher John Danks said. "It's embarrassing but at the same time you have to realize how good they're playing."
Ryan Raburn and Jhonny Peralta each homered and drove in three runs for Detroit, which has averaged 8.4 runs during the 10-game winning stretch. Magglio Ordonez singled to extend his hitting streak to 12 games, and the former White Sox slugger has hit .381 during that stretch.
Austin Jackson is 30 for 75 (.400) during a 16-game hitting streak versus Chicago.
Raburn, who had four hits, is batting .340 (16 for 47) with four homers and 16 RBIs against the White Sox this season. He's hit .375 (12 for 32) against scheduled starter Gavin Floyd (12-10, 4.35).
The right-hander is 3-0 with a 3.62 ERA in six starts since losing to New York on Aug. 3. He allowed a run in 5 2-3 innings but did not factor in the decision of an 8-1 win at Cleveland on Thursday.
Floyd is 6-1 with a 3.51 ERA in 16 starts against the Tigers.
Brent Morel hit a pair of solo homers Monday for the White Sox, who have lost four of six. All four of Morel's hits in his last 15 at-bats have left the park.
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