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VERLANDER SETS TONE.....TIGERS 8, Chicago WSox 1, F 9/2/11
Posted on: 09-02-2011

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>>caption:  A RARE STOLEN


    Justin Verlander cruised to
his 21st win of the season as
the Tigers beat up the Chicago
White Sox 8-1 Friday night in the opener of a 3-game, holiday weekend,
showdown series.
    Verlander's 104th big league win was also the 500th in a Detroit uniform
for Jim Leyland, making him the fifth manager in Tigers history to reach
that plateau.
    The AL-Central leading Tigers (76-62) now lead the third place WSox by
six and a half games. Second place Cleveland also won to stay five and a
half behind.
    Verlander (21-5) allowed just 2-H through the first 6-INN as the Tigers
built an 8-0 bulge. JV went 7.1-IP to yield 21-R/1-ER on 7-H & 1-W with 6-K.    
    Besides an offensive outburst, Verlander was also assisted by a pair of
defensive gems. 2Bman Ramon Santiago made a diving grab of a sinking liner
and RFielder Magglio Ordonez a long, running, retreating catch.
    The Tigers staked Verlander to a 3-0/B-1st lead. Austin Jackson led-
off with a single and scored on Delmon Young's 1-out triple to CField.
Young came home on a Miguel Cabrera single. After Miggy stole second,
he scored on a 2-out RBI-1B by Alex Avila.
    Detroit blew it open with a 5-R/B-5th. Austin Jackson hit a nobody out,
2rHR (#9) to LCField. After WSox reliever Josh KInney replaced starter
John Danks (L, 6-10), Jhonny Peralta hit a 2-out, 3r2B to make it 8-Zip.    
    Tyler Flowers ruined Verlander's shutout bid when he led-off the T-8th
with a 425-foot homerun (#3) blast to LCField. Two hits and one out later
Verlander was removed after 106-pitches/73-strikes.
    Joaquin Benoit got the last 2-outs of the T-8th and Daniel Schlereth
worked a scoreless T-9th.
    Jackson went 3-for-5 and Brandon Inge 2-for-4 for Detroit.
    No White Sox batter had multiple hits.

      CWS       1-7-0, 7-LOB         (L) Danks, 6-10
      DET        8-11-0, 5-LOB       (W) Verlander, 21-5


TIGERS MGR JIM LEYLAND:   "Let's give credit where it's due. Justin Verlander's got
104 of those [500 Leyland/Tiger wins]. That's something that you kind of share with
your family. You don't make a big deal about it. The fans don't really care about stuff
like that. It's a nice thing. I'm proud of it, very proud of it. Only five guys in the
history of the franchise...that just means we've had good players."

TIGERS SP JUSTIN VERLANDER:   "I didn't change my game plan when we were leading
3-0 early, but once it got to be 8-0, I started throwing first-pitch fastballs. I figured
if they were hacking, I could get some quick outs. It hurt me a little in the eighth,
but you certainly can't complain about a game like this...That looked like Magglio from
at least 10 years ago, the way he ran that [flyball] down. As for Santi, I don't know
what you can say about that play, other than it probably saved me at least a run."

TIGERS CA ALEX AVILA:   "[Verlander] threw the ball great today and really located
his pitches and his curveball got very good as the game went on, which was good
to see."

WSOX MGR OZZIE GUILLEN:   "When it is 3-0 in the first inning against [Verlander],
you've got a pretty rough slope to climb."

WSOX SP JOHN DANKS:   "We're running out of games. We have to at least win out
against the Tigers and we're still going to need some help."


    The last Tiger with 21wins in a season was Jack Morris (21-8) in 1986.
    Verlander is 19-2 since early May, won his 9th in a row (for the second time this
season), is 9-1 vs the White Sox since 2008 and became just the third MLB pitcher
in the last 30 years to get 15 "stopper" wins in a season (a victory following his team
losing the previous game).
    Leyland is close to becoming the third winningest Tiger manager. Steve O'Neill (509)
and Bucky Harris (516) are just ahead of Leyland. Detroit's winningest managers are
Sparky Anderson with 1,331 and Hughie Jennings with 1,131.
    DLed reliever Al Alburquerque (concussion) will make an injury rehab appearance
for 3A Toledo Saturday.  
    The White Sox activated CA A.J. Pierzcynski from the DL after his 3-game injury
rehab (fractured left wrist) stint with 3A Charlotte. Also called up from the minors
were INF Eduardo Escobar and RHPs Shane Lindsay and Addison Reed. Pierczynski
went 1-for-4 at DH and Escobar came in late at SStop to go 1-for-1 at the plate.
    Probable pitchers for the middle game of the series Saturday are RHPs Brad
Penny (9-10) of Detroit and Gavin Floyd (12-10) for the White Sox. Floyd is 6-1
lifetime vs the Tigers.


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