Final

Series: Game 1 of 4

Detroit leads 1-0 (as of 7/24)

Game 1: Friday, July 24
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Detroit5
Game 2: Friday, July 24
Chi White Sox3Final
Detroit4
Game 3: Saturday, July 25
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in 10
Detroit4
Game 4: Sunday, July 26
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Detroit1

White Sox 1

(50-46, 23-23 away)

Tigers 5

(50-44, 29-15 home)

    1:05 PM ET, July 24, 2009

    Comerica Park, Detroit, Michigan 

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    W: J. Verlander (11-5)

    L: J. Contreras (4-9)

    Verlander locks in to change tune of White Sox

    Associated Press

    DETROIT -- Justin Verlander had several reasons to finish the first game of Friday's doubleheader against the Chicago White Sox.

    Pride was the biggest one.

    The Tigers ace got out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the ninth inning to finish off Detroit's 5-1 win and the sixth complete game of his career.

    Fast Facts

    • The Tigers won for the 14th time in the last 18 home games, snapping a two-game home losing streak in the process.

    • Justin Verlander improved to 7-0 with a 1.15 ERA at home this season, as he tossed his third complete game of the season and sixth of his career.

    • Placido Polanco went 3-for-3 with two RBIs for the Tigers and has eight hits in his last four games.

    • Bartolo Colon, making his first appearance since June 7, lost his seventh straight decision vs. the Tigers.

    -- ESPN Stats & Information

    "That felt good, especially because Skip had the confidence to let me finish it," he said of manager Jim Leyland. "After they loaded the bases, I was looking into the dugout and I really didn't want to see him coming for me."

    Verlander had allowed three hits through eight innings, but the first three batters of the ninth all lined clean singles. Gordon Beckham grounded into a 1-2-3 double play, and Verlander retired DeWayne Wise to end the game.

    "He's a horse, and we saw that again today," Leyland said. "He's just a very special talent."

    Verlander was twice clocked at 100 mph during Wise's at-bat, the last coming on his 125th pitch.

    "He's got a gift," Tigers catcher Gerald Laird said. "When they loaded the bases, he just reared back and started hitting 100 on the gun. He's got unbelievable stuff."

    Verlander (11-5) struggled with his control early, walking four batters in the first five innings. But he didn't allow a hit after the fourth until the ninth.

    "I was worried, because he got out of sync, but he got it back together," Leyland said. "That's the difference between this year and last year."

    The White Sox were coming off Mark Buehrle's perfect game on Thursday, but manager Ozzie Guillen said that didn't affect Friday's outcome.

    "There was no letdown from yesterday," he said. "Verlander was just dominating."

    Jose Contreras (4-9) took the loss, allowing four runs and nine hits in 6 2/3 innings.

    "There's nothing much more I could have done," he said through an interpreter. "Everything felt good out there, but the balls they hit just fell in the right places."

    Detroit went up 4-1 in the seventh on RBI singles by Adam Everett and Placido Polanco. The Tigers scored their final run on Laird's suicide squeeze bunt in the eighth. They matched a season best with three stolen bases.

    "We didn't have runs coming in bunches, so we had to play small ball," Laird said. "That's how you win games some of the time."

    Chicago left the bases loaded in the second and stranded two more runners in the third.

    The teams traded runs on sacrifice flies by Beckham and Polanco before Detroit took a 2-1 lead in the fourth. Miguel Cabrera led off with a double, took third on Carlos Guillen's flyout and scored when Ryan Raburn's pop-up down the right-field line dropped between three players for a double.

    Game notes


    Guillen, activated before the game, received a loud ovation when he batted for the first time since May 4. To make room for Guillen, the Tigers designated OF Josh Anderson for assignment. ... Buehrle donated his jersey from Thursday's perfect game to the Hall of Fame. ... Tigers president Dave Dombrowski said there is a chance RHP Jeremy Bonderman could return this season as a reliever. Bonderman has started only once in 14 months because of a blood clot in his pitching shoulder. ... Between games, the Tigers activated RHP Eddie Bonine, who was scheduled to start the nightcap, and optioned RHP Freddy Dolsi to Triple-A Toledo.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Game Information

    StadiumComerica Park, Detroit, MI
    Attendance27,844 (67.5% full) - % is based on regular season capacity
    Game Time2:35
    Weather76 degrees, partly cloudy
    Wind5 mph
    UmpiresHome Plate - Rob Drake, First Base - Mark Wegner, Second Base - Tim Timmons, Third Base - Jeff Kellogg