Justin Verlander Spectacular, Detroit Tigers Defeat Chicago White Sox 6-1

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The Detroit Tigers defeated the Chicago White Sox 6-1 in their series finale. Chris Sale and Justin Verlander went toe to toe for 6 innings, but the Tigers got to the White Sox bullpen to secure the victory. The Tigers’ magic number is now 4 to clinch the American League Central and 1 to secure a playoff spot as they enter their final series of the year at home against the Minnesota Twins.

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Justin Verlander got the start for the Tigers and he put together his best start of the season. No comment on the timing of this start to avoid any kind of jinx. Verlander’s final line was 8 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K. Verlander threw 109 pitches, 76 of them strikes. To say he was in control, especially with his fastball, is an understatement. This was Verlander’s final start of the regular season and could be a step in the right direction for the future.

Chris Sale got the start for the start for the White Sox and he was very good. The Tigers got Sale’s pitch count up early in the game by making him throw more than 60 pitches in the first 3 innings. He finished with a line of 6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 3 BB 10K. Sale’s only rocky inning came in the 6th where sale hit a batter and then gave up a double and sacrifice fly for his only run surrendered. Outside of his incidents with Victor Martinez, Sale was very good and had impeccable control.

The run scoring did not start until the 6th inning, but things did get interesting starting in the 3rd. To end the 3rd inning, Sale struck out Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez. After these two strikeouts, Sale tipped his cap to the crowd in the outfield while walking back to the dugout.

The White Sox opened the scoring in the top of the 6th inning. Jose Abreu singled to right field to open the inning. Abreu then stole second and advanced to third on an errant throw from Bryan Holaday. With two outs, Dayan Viciedo tripled to score Abreu and give the Sox the 1-0 lead.

In the bottom of the 6th, Sale hit Martinez and the two jawed as Victor went to first. The benches and bullpens then cleared. With about 80 men on the field, no punches were thrown and no one was ejected. Sale pointed to center field both times looking like he believed someone was signaling signs to Martinez and there looked to be intent. J.D. Martinez then stepped to the plate and doubled to left field which advanced Victor Martinez to third. Nick Castellanos hit a sacrifice fly to center scoring Victor Martinez from third and tying the game at 1-1. When he went back to the dugout after the inning, Sale made a binocular motion which gives more evidence he thought someone was stealing signs

Sale exited the game in the 7th and the Tigers took advantage immediately once Javy Guerra entered the game. Rajai Davis hit a ground ball single with one out. With Davis on the move, Ian Kinsler hit a double down the left field line which scored Davis and gave the Tigers the 2-1 lead. Kinsler then returned the binocular motion to the dugouts. Torii Hunter followed Kinsler with a single and Cabrera drove Kinsler home with a sacrifice fly giving the Tigers the 3-1 lead.

The Tigers extended their lead once again in the 8th. J.D. Martinez led the inning off with a single. Nick Castellanos walked. Both runners moved up on a sacrifice bunt from Holaday. Andrew Romine also bunted, but this time it was the suicide squeeze to score J.D. Martinez. Davis then hit his second infield single of the day to score Don Kelly who ran for Castellanos. Davis then stole second in front of an Ian Kinsler single to score Davis from second which gave the Tigers the 6-1 lead.

In bullpen news, Joakim Soria entered the game in the 9th in the 6-1 game as he continues to be used in low leverage spots. He retired Garcia, Viciedo, and Danks in order.

The Tigers now hold a 1.5 game lead over the Kansas City Royals who play at 7:00 at Progressive Field against the Cleveland Indians. The Tigers will now host the Minnesota Twins for their final regular season series. Tomorrow Max Scherzer will take the mound against Trevor May at 7:08 pm.

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