Justin Verlander #35 of the Detroit Tigers throws a first inning pitch while playing the Chicago White Sox at Comerica Park on September 2, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Justin Verlander's dominant performance moved the Tigers into a share of the division lead Sunday night with a series sweep of the Chicago White Sox.
Justin Verlander allowed a lead-off home run on the second pitch of the game to White Sox outfielder Alejandro De Aza, then slammed the door shut, allowing no more runs and striking out 11 in eight innings of work.
Verlander's dominance lasted 124 pitches with only four hits. The win improved the Detroit ace's record to 13-7 with a 2.73 ERA. Jose Valverde, who allowed one run in the ninth, picked up his 28th save of the season. For the White Sox, Chris Sale got the loss, bringing his record to 15-6 with a 2.93 ERA.
Sale's lack of command forced him to work with base runners in each of the first four innings, however, he escaped the early innings unharmed. The Tigers finally reached the White Sox ace in the fifth with a game-tying, solo home run off the bat of Brennan Boesch, and then made him pay in the sixth, following a walk and base hit with a Delmon Young's three-run homer to take a 4-1 lead. The three-run lead was all Verlander needed as the White Sox were helpless against the reigning Cy Young winner.
Both the Tigers and White Sox now stand at 72-61. They will face each other once more this season, a four-game set in Chicago beginning September 10.