Final

Series: Game 1 of 4

Detroit leads 1-0 (as of 6/9)

Game 1: Thursday, June 9
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Detroit4
Game 2: Friday, June 10
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Detroit2
Game 3: Saturday, June 11
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Detroit8
Game 4: Sunday, June 12
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Mariners 1

(32-31, 14-16 away)

Tigers 4

(34-28, 18-11 home)

    7:05 PM ET, June 9, 2011

    Comerica Park, Detroit, Michigan 

    123456789 R H E
    SEA 000010000 1 5 0
    DET 00004000 - 4 7 0

    W: J. Verlander (7-3)

    L: D. Fister (3-7)

    S: J. Valverde (16)

    Justin Verlander goes eight strong as Tigers beat Mariners

    Associated Press

    DETROIT -- After a long night, the Detroit Tigers were battling fatigue as much as the Seattle Mariners.

    Luckily for them, Justin Verlander made sure they didn't have much to do Thursday night.

    "I knew I was the only guy that got a good night's sleep, so I better do a good job," he said. "If I don't, my early flight was all for naught."

    Verlander allowed one run in eight innings as the Tigers beat the Mariners 4-1 after Detroit got home early in the morning after a game Wednesday night in Texas. Verlander pitched so quickly that the "night" game ended at dusk, with the final pitch coming just 16 minutes after sunset.

    "We didn't get home until 4 o'clock, so this worked out really well for us," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "We sent Justin home earlier, obviously, but couldn't ask for a better guy to pitch for you when the guys are a little tired. He was terrific."

    Verlander (7-3) struck out a season-best 10 while allowing five hits and a walk. He's 5-0 in his last seven starts with a 2.14 ERA and received a standing ovation from the crowd of 22,090 while returning to the dugout after the eighth.

    "I don't feel like this is my best run, but I feel like I'm pitching pretty well," he said. "I just want to keep this momentum going."

    Seattle's Brendan Ryan is just glad the Mariners won't face Verlander again this season, unless both make the playoffs.

    "It isn't fun facing him; it is not fun at all," Ryan said. "He's throwing 98, he's got closer stuff and he's got extra pitches on top of that. He throws them all where he wants them, and he throws them on any count. It's tough."

    Jose Valverde pitched the ninth for his 16th save in as many tries.

    Doug Fister (3-7) dropped to 1-4 since May 1, giving up four runs on seven hits and two walks in his eight innings. He's 1-12 in 19 career starts against the AL Central.

    After the Tigers stranded runners on third with fewer than two outs in both the third and fourth innings, the Mariners went ahead in the fifth.

    Greg Halman singled, stole second, moved to third on a flyball and scored on a wild pitch.

    Detroit, though, came back with four in the bottom of the inning. Jhonny Peralta singled and scored on Alex Avila's second triple of the game. With two outs, Don Kelly's single gave the Tigers a 2-1 lead, and Brennan Boesch followed with his eighth homer of the season.

    "I kept letting the leadoff hitters get on, and it came back to hurt me in that inning," Fister said. "Avila got me twice when I left sinkers too far over the plate, and Boesch hit a cutter that wasn't far enough inside."

    Game notes


    The game took 2 hours, 17 minutes and ended at 9:23 p.m. ... Avila became the third Tigers catcher to triple twice in a game since 1919, joining Brad Ausmus (1999) and Lance Parrish (1980). No major league catcher has hit three triples in a game in that span. ... Ryan Raburn went 0-for-3 for Detroit and is hitting .216 since Leyland said he was giving him a "new season" by moving him to second base in late May. ... Seattle's starting rotation came in with the second-worst run support in the majors, leading only the San Diego Padres, and Fister only got one run in his eight innings. ... Seattle's Miguel Olivo went 0-for-4 in the cleanup spot, striking out all four times.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Game Information

    StadiumComerica Park, Detroit, MI
    Attendance22,090 (53.5% full) - % is based on regular season capacity
    Game Time2:17
    Weather69 degrees, partly cloudy
    Wind16 mph
    UmpiresHome Plate - Cory Blaser, First Base - Mike Winters, Second Base - Mike Everitt, Third Base - Chris Guccione

    Research Notes

    How Justin Verlander shut down the Mariners: - Feel the breeze. Verlander recorded 24 swings-and-misses against the M's. That is the second-most in a game for any pitcher this season. Jered Weaver got 25 against the Blue Jays in April. - Curveball. On at-bats ending with curveballs, the Mariners were 1-10 (.100) with five strikeouts. That is the most curveball strikeouts for Verlander since he had six last September 24. For the season, the opposition is hitting .111 against Verlander's curve. - Great starts. Verlander threw eight innings and retired the leadoff hitter in each frame.

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