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Detroit moves closer to division title

The AL Central-leading Tigers defeat Cleveland, 6-5, and increase lead over Minnesota to three games.

September 25, 2009|Associated Press

CLEVELAND — Justin Verlander pitched the Detroit Tigers closer to a division title and pushed the Cleveland Indians to within one loss of matching a franchise record for futility with a 6-5 win on Thursday night.

Verlander struck out 11 in seven innings and Carlos Guillen had three hits and a run batted in as the Tigers handed Cleveland its 11th loss in a row.

With the win, Detroit moved three games ahead of the idle Minnesota Twins in the AL's Central Division. The Tigers, who have 10 games remaining, open a three-game series at the Chicago White Sox tonight.

The Indians haven't dropped 11 in a row since setting a club record with 12 consecutive losses in 1931. They can match that mark today when Baltimore, loser of seven straight, opens a weekend series at Progressive Field.

Fernando Rodney earned his 35th save despite giving up a two-run homer to Shin-Soo Choo in the ninth.

Verlander (17-9) entered having lost his last two decisions, but he continued his dominance over the Indians. He won all four of his starts against Cleveland this year.

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