and Tigers manager Jim Leyland don't always agree on pitching philosophy, they were both pleased with his latest effort.
Verlander (17-9) struck out 11 in seven innings and
had three hits and an RBI in Detroit's 6-5 win over Cleveland on Thursday, pushing the Indians within one loss of matching
a franchise record for futility.
With the win, Detroit moved three games ahead of the idle
in the AL's Central Division. The Tigers, who have 10 games remaining, open a three-game series at the
Chicago White Sox
on Friday night.
Despite all the strikeouts, Leyland thought Verlander was simply throwing at times instead of pitching.
''There's a lot of times where I've gotten into trouble and just let it go and gotten out of it,'' Verlander said. ''Me and
him tend to differ a lot on opinion. I wouldn't say I'm throwing it, I'm just giving it more effort.''
Such as the third inning, when the Indians loaded the bases on a pair of hits and a walk. Verlander threw a 101 mph fastball
's bat, yet the ball still sailed into right field for a two-run single. That hit gave the Indians more runs off Verlander
than they had in the other 29 innings against him this season combined.
''At the end of the day he's the horse and he got a well-deserved win,'' Leyland said. ''He's a tremendous pitcher.''
earned his 35th save despite allowing a two-run homer to Shin-Soo Choo in the ninth.
The loss was the Indians' 11th straight, their longest skid since a club-record 12-game streak in 1931. They can match that
mark Friday when Baltimore, losers of seven straight, opens a weekend series at Progressive Field.
''Our guys made a good run at it,'' Indians manager
said. ''We played better baseball tonight. We're still short, obviously, on the win side.''
Verlander (17-9) entered having lost his last two decisions, but he continued his dominance over the Indians. He struck out
at least one batter in six of his seven innings and struck out the side in the fourth.
He won all four of his starts against Cleveland this year, allowing three earned runs in 30 innings (0.90 ERA). The AL leader
in strikeouts (256) has registered at least 10 in seven starts this season - and three of those came against the Indians.
Cleveland scored more runs in the third inning Thursday off Verlander than it did in the other 29 innings combined. Two hits
and a walk loaded the bases for rookie
, whose broken bat single to right field on a 101 mph fastball gave the Indians a 2-0 lead.
It was their first lead since Sept. 15 at Minnesota, a span of 70 innings. They didn't have long to celebrate.
Detroit's first five batters reached to start the fourth off
(0-3), and RBI singles from
gave the Tigers a 4-2 lead.
Carrasco has given up at least four runs in each of his four starts since joining the Indians on Sept. 1.
Rodney entered the ninth with a three-run cushion and retired the first two batters before walking
. Choo followed with his 17th home run and
singled, bringing the winning run to the plate in
Peralta worked the count full before hitting a sinking liner that tailed away from Inge at third base. Inge made a leaping
stab at the ball to end the game.
''I think everybody's heart was in their throat a little bit,'' Verlander said. ''But he (Rodney) has come through all year
for us. Whenever a little doubt creeps in, you say he's done it all year for us and he's our guy. Once again, he did it.''
NOTES: Tigers RHP
on Thursday became the fourth pitchers 20-years-old or younger since 1970 to win at least 14 games in a season, according
to Elias Sports Bureau. The others were Cincinnati's
in 1971 and the Mets'
in '84 and '85. ... Indians 1B
(left hip) wasn't in the lineup for the second straight game. Wedge said he might be able to start Friday. ... Peralta's single
in the fourth ended an 0-for-26 skid.