Detroit, MI – Justin Verlander spun seven scoreless innings of one-hit ball to help the Detroit Tigers defeat the Texas Rangers, 5-0, in the rubber match of a three-game set at Comerica Park.
In what has been a subpar first-half of the season for the 2011 MVP and Cy Young Award winner's standards, Verlander's (10-6) performance on Sunday was anything but that.
"I was able to locate my fastball and the one's that they hit were usually kind of weak," said Verlander.
He took a no-hit bid into the seventh but it was broken up by a Mitch Moreland double with two outs. He walked three while fanning three. It was his fifth scoreless outing of the season.
"He worked through seven innings with just one hit, not much you can say about it," said Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler. "That's the beauty of Justin Verlander."
Jhonny Peralta, Torii Hunter and Victor Martinez each connected on solo home runs for the Tigers, who begin the season's second-half with a three-game series at Kansas City.
Martin Perez (3-2) was tagged for five runs on four hits with three walks over 5 2/3 innings. It's his first loss in five starts since being recalled from Triple-A Round Rock on June 22.
Geovany Soto's single in the eighth was the only other hit for the Rangers, who have lost four of five going into the All-Star break.
Hunter crushed a hanging curveball over the left-field wall in the first to start the scoring for the Tigers.
Martinez and Peralta delivered back-to-back two-out solo shots in the fourth to give Detroit a three-run advantage.
Hunter and Miguel Cabrera began the sixth inning with consecutive walks. Peralta knocked in Hunter with a blooper that dropped over second baseman Kinsler's glove. Cory Burns then took the mound and was welcomed by a Matt Tuiasosopo RBI single up the middle to increase the cushion to five.
Texas had runners in scoring position just twice, both coming with two outs. Moreland's double in the seventh was the first instance and the opportunity arose again in the ninth when Adrian Beltre was beamed and pinch runner Engel Beltre advanced to second on a defensive indifference.
Detroit finished 2-for-6 with runners in scoring position ... The Tigers have won 62 of their last 91 games at Comerica Park since July 4, 2012 ... Texas takes the season series for the second straight year with a 4-3 record ... Texas is 6-12 versus the Tigers over the past 18 meetings ... The Rangers' bullpen has allowed just one run in 23 2/3 innings over the past eight games ... Verlander is 70-28 in 122 starts at Comerica Park since the start of the 2006 season, leading all AL pitchers with wins at home during that span.