Starting pitcher Justin Verlander #35 of the Detroit Tigers pitches during the first inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on August 6, 2013 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND (DETROIT FREE PRESS) - Don Kelly had three hits, including a three-run homer in a five-run fifth as the Detroit Tigers extended their winning streak to 10 with a decision over the Indians tonight in Cleveland.
By winning the first two games in this four-game series, the Tigers have extended their lead over the Tribe to five games in the AL Central. Detroit has its first double-digit winning streak since September 2011, when they won 12 in a row to put a stranglehold on the division.
Justin Verlander allowed an earned run on just four hits and a hit batter while striking out seven on 112 pitches.
Miguel Cabrera was was 2-for-4 with an RBI, his 100th of the season. He has recorded at least 100 RBIs in 10 straight seasons.
The Tigers trailed, 1-0, in the fifth inning that began with Ramon Santiago getting hit by a pitch. Austin Jackson then singled, putting runners on the corners. Torii Hunter then grounded into a fielder's choice, erasing Jackson but allowing Santiago to score and tie the game. Cabrera then doubled to center, sending Hunter home.
With two outs, Victor Martinez was the second hit batter of the inning, setting the stage for Kelly, who hit a line drive over the wall in right for his fifth homer of the season.
Cleveland struck first in the second inning where Asdrubal Cabrera hit a leadoff double to right. Michael Brantley singled to left, but Cabrera did not score. Carlos Santana hit a grounder to first and Prince Fielder helped the Tigers catch Cabrera in a rundown between third and home. However, former Tiger Ryan Raburn hit a grounder to second, allowing Brantley to score.
Verlander (12-8) went 1-2-3 in the next three innings, but hit Yan Gomes to begin the sixth. Michael Bourn then singled and there were runners on first and third with one out. But Verlander struck out Jason Kipnis and got Cabrera to ground to second to end the threat.
The Tigers ace then pitched a 1-2-3 seventh, striking out Brantley and Raburn. At 106 pitches, he came back out for the eighth. Lonnie Chisenhall flied out to left, Gomes fouled out to first and Bourn grounded out to second on just six pitches.
Jose Veras came on in the ninth. On the first pitch of the inning, Nick Swisher took Veras deep to left, but Kelly made a leaping catch near the wall for the first out. Kipnis struck out and Cabrera grounded to first to end the game.
Cleveland starter Justin Masterson (13-8) pitched seven innings, allowing five earned runs on seven hits, two walks and two hit batters. He struck out six.
BY KIRKLAND CRAWFORD/DFP