for this game

Tigers win 11th straight; so does Verlander

Sep 14, 2011 - 6:39 AM Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Behind seven scoreless innings from Justin Verlander, the Tigers kept steaming toward the AL Central title Tuesday, beating the White Sox 5-0 to extend their winning streak to 11 games.

Detroit is on its first 11-game winning streak since September 9-21, 1968, and leads the White Sox and Indians by 12 1/2 games. The Tigers' magic number to eliminate Chicago is three, while it's four for Cleveland -- which has one fewer loss.

Verlander (23-5), who has won 11 consecutive starts and leads the majors in pitching victories, gave up only six hits and two walks, and struck out six.

"The last few starts, the last five or six, the walks I had I was really just a hair off," Verlander said. "I really felt like I was starting to get back in that rhythm I've been trying to find for a little while."

He was backed by a three-run homer by Victor Martinez, while Joaquin Benoit stranded the bases loaded in the eighth to help the Tigers win.

Verlander is the first American league pitcher to have 23 wins since Barry Zito finished with that mark in 2002 for Oakland. He's also the first Tigers pitcher to win 11 straight starts since Hal Newhouser in 1946. No Detroit pitcher has won 12 consecutive starts in a single season.

Chicago had its chances to put runs on the board, but left 10 on base and went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position en route to its third straight loss. The White Sox dropped the opener of this three-game series, 14-4, on Monday.

Gavin Floyd (12-11) gave up four runs in 5 1/3 innings, but was battling Verlander well through the early frames.

Other than a run in the second -- when Miguel Cabrera doubled and scored on a grounder by Alex Avila -- Floyd kept Chicago in the game.

But then in the sixth, Will Rhymes doubled and moved to third on a fly ball. Floyd intentionally walked Cabrera to bring up Martinez, who slugged his 11th homer of the season to right field for a 4-0 lead.

"I don't want to get beat by the best hitter in the American League," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "I think Cabrera's the best hitter we have here for the last three years. If that decision had to be made again, I'd take my chances."

Cabrera doubled in a run in the seventh.

Meanwhile, Verlander was still shutting out the White Sox, who did have their opportunities against the Detroit ace. But they couldn't take advantage of any of them.

After putting runners on the corners with one away in the first, Dayan Viciedo grounded into a double play. Gordon Beckham flied out to strand two in the second, then struck out to leave the bases loaded in the fourth.

Chicago had another bases-loaded opportunity in the eighth, when Viciedo walked, Alex Rios singled and Alejandro De Aza walked with two away. However, Benoit fanned Tyler Flowers to end the threat, and Jose Valverde worked a 1-2-3 ninth.

Game Notes

Verlander is the first Tigers pitcher to win more than 10 consecutive decisive decisions in a single season since Bobo Newsom, who won 13 in a row from April 25-July 13, 1940...Detroit is trying to win its first division title since 1987, when it claimed the AL East crown...The Tigers have won 21 of 25 overall, and 20 of their last 26 against the White Sox...Chicago has been outscored by Detroit by a 42-6 margin since the seventh inning of the teams' September 3 game.