By NOAH TRISTER, AP Sports Writer
DETROIT (AP) _ Justin Verlander slowed down the rampaging Mets,
pitching seven solid innings Thursday to lead the Detroit Tigers to
a 5-2 victory over New York.
The Mets had scored a team-record 52 runs in their previous four
games, including 30 in the first two of this series. Verlander
(11-3) prevented a sweep, holding New York to one run and seven
Verlander finished June with a 6-0 record and a 0.92 ERA, and
tied CC Sabathia for the major league lead in wins this season.
Verlander has won his last seven starts, allowing two or fewer runs
Joaquin Benoit pitched the eighth, and Jose Valverde finished
for his 19th save.
Daniel Murphy and Carlos Beltran homered for New York’s only
runs. Andy Dirks hit a solo shot for the Tigers.
Mike Pelfrey (4-7) allowed four earned runs in 4 2-3 innings for
the Mets, who start a three-game home series against the Yankees on
Detroit needed a good start from Verlander after losing 16-9 the
previous night and 14-3 on Tuesday. Every Tiger that pitched
Wednesday gave up at least one run — except utilityman Don Kelly,
who took the mound during the ninth that night in an amusing scene.
With the bullpen battered, Verlander went out and held the Mets
at bay. He threw 120 pitches, striking out six and walking two. It
wasn’t his most dominating effort, but it came at an important
About the only thing Verlander didn’t do was get Jose Reyes out.
The splendid shortstop reached base in all three plate appearances
against the Detroit ace, but didn’t come around to score.
Reyes led off the game with a double, and the Mets seemed ready
to break loose once again. But Jason Pridie followed by lining into
a double play.
With the Mets down 5-1, Lucas Duda led off the seventh with a
triple, but he was thrown out by left fielder Brennan Boesch when
he tagged up and tried to score on a fly ball. Mets manager Terry
Collins came out to argue, but to no avail.
Benoit relieved Verlander and allowed Beltran’s 12th homer of
the season. The Mets hit no homers in their 16-run outburst
Pelfrey gave up eight hits and struck out three. He tied a
career high with five walks, all in the first three innings.
Detroit left the bases loaded in the first, but Austin Jackson hit
an RBI single for the Tigers in the second to make it 1-all after
Murphy homered in the top half.
The Tigers loaded the bases with one out in the third, and Alex
Avila hit a sacrifice fly. Ramon Santiago then hit an RBI single,
and center fielder Angel Pagan’s throw to third was wild, allowing
another run to come home.
Dirks homered in the fifth to make it 5-1.
New York reliever Manny Acosta left with an apparent injury
after making an acrobatic play to field a bunt by Santiago.
NOTES: Dirks, a rookie, has six homers in 92 at-bats. … Reyes’
double was his 213th, passing Edgardo Alfonzo for fourth place on
the franchise’s career list.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)