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Avila, Verlander lift Tigers over Mariners

Jun 10, 2011 - 3:47 AM Detroit, MI (Sports Network) - Alex Avila had a pair of triples and drove in a run to back Justin Verlander's eight strong innings, as the Detroit Tigers took a 4-1 win over the Seattle Mariners in the opener of a four-game set.

Verlander (7-3) racked up 10 strikeouts and allowed just five hits and one run to get Detroit back on track after a 7-3 loss to Texas on Wednesday following a four-game winning streak. Verlander hasn't lost since April 27 and has gone 5-0 with a no-hitter during that span.

"It seems like we're on a heck of a roll," Verlander said. "I think we're playing the way we should. We have an outstanding ball club with tons of talent. When we get rolling it's tough to beat us."

Brennan Boesch had a two-run shot for Detroit, which has pulled a game behind the idle AL Central-leading Cleveland Indians.

Greg Halman scored the lone run for the Mariners, who have lost four of their last six. Starting pitcher Doug Fister (3-7) tossed a complete game in the loss, allowing four runs on seven hits.

"He did a great job coming back and keeping us in the ball game," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said of Fister.

All the scoring action happened in the fifth, which was started with Halman's one-out single. He stole second and moved to third on Luis Rodriguez's flyout before scoring on Verlander's wild pitch on a strikeout to put Seattle up 1-0.

But the Tigers answered back with a four-run home half.

Avila, who was stranded during the third inning after leading off with a triple, drilled a ball into deepest part of the field for his second triple of the game that also scored Jhonny Peralta.

A little later in the inning, Don Kelly had a two-out single to plate Avila and Boesch followed with a moonshot that curled inside the right foul pole to put the Tigers up 4-1.

With Verlander on the mound, the lead stayed that way the rest of the game. Jose Valverde replaced him in the ninth and tossed a scoreless inning to record his 16th save of the season.

Game Notes

It was the third time in Detroit history since 1919 that a Tigers catcher has tripled twice in a game. The others were Brad Ausmus in 1999 and Lance Parrish in 1980...The Tigers snapped a four-game losing streak to Seattle in Detroit...The Mariners swept the Tigers earlier in the year.