Verlander gets 19th win as Tigers top Rays

Alex Avila's two-run home run backed 2, to open a four-game series.

Verlander (19-5) allowed one run on three hits and three walks while fanning eight in the right-hander's seventh consecutive victory. He also tied his career-high in wins with the performance.

Don Kelly added a solo shot in Detroit's fourth straight win. The Tigers widened their lead in the AL Central to 5 1/2 games over both Cleveland and the Chicago White Sox.

Jeff Niemann (8-5) gave up four runs on six hits and three walks in 7 1/3 innings. He had won his previous seven decisions prior to the loss, his first since May 4 against Toronto.

Matt Joyce and Evan Longoria went deep for the Rays, who had their season-high tying five-game win streak snapped.