News

Tigers pitch their way into AL Championship

Tigers pitch their way into AL Championship

ALCS BOUND: Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander (35) delivers a pitch against the Oakland Athletics during the first inning in game five of the American League divisional series playoff baseball. Photo: Reuters

(Reuters) – Justin Verlander maintained his mastery of the Oakland Athletics, pitching brilliantly in a 3-0 win on Thursday that put the visiting Detroit Tigers into the American League Championship Series for the third year in a row.

Backed by a two-run homer by Miguel Cabrera, Verlander yielded just two hits in eight innings and ran his consecutive scoreless innings streak in the playoffs against Oakland to 32 as Detroit won the deciding Game Five for a 3-2 victory in their AL Division Series.

The triumph earned the Tigers a trip to Boston for Saturday’s start of a best-of-seven against the Red Sox to produce the American League representative in the World Series.

The National League Championship Series pits the St. Louis Cardinals against the Los Angeles Dodgers beginning on Friday.

Cabrera, who had hit only one home run since August as he struggled with injuries, connected in the fourth inning off Athletics rookie starter and loser Sonny Gray with Torii Hunter aboard to give Verlander all the support he would need.

A former Cy Young and AL MVP winner who posted an inconsistent 13-12 mark this season, Verlander has been his familiar, brilliant self in the playoffs and retired the first 16 batters he faced before walking Josh Reddick in the sixth.

The first hit off the right-hander was a sharp single up the middle by Cuban Yoenis Cespedes with two outs in the seventh.

Oakland threatened in the bottom of the ninth against closer Joaquin Benoit, who gave up a two-out double to Jed Lowrie and hit Cespedes with a pitch before getting potential tying run Seth Smith to fly out to right to end it.

Verlander, who struck out 10 and walked only one, began his streak by winning the first and fifth games of last year’s division series against Oakland and had a no decision in Game Two of this series despite throwing seven shutout innings.

Recent Headlines

in Sports

Oklahoma’s Perine runs for record 427 yards & Top 25 scoreboard

football genric image

Oklahoma freshman Samaje Perine set a major college record by running for 427 yards in a driving rainstorm, scoring five touchdowns and leading the No. 23 Sooners over Kansas 44-7 Saturday.

in Entertainment

This weekend in entertainment history

elvis

A look at the Hollywood headlines that went down in history.

in Sports

Wizards hand Cavaliers 3rd straight loss

Washington Wizards' John Wall (2) in action during the second half of game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinal NBA basketball playoff series against the Indiana Pacers Wednesday, May 7, 2014, in Indianapolis. Indiana defeated Washington 86-82.

The hustling Washington Wizards clamped down for a 91-78 win over LeBron James and the mostly flatfooted Cleveland Cavaliers.

in Sports

Judge denies sports betting in New Jersey

gavel laying

A federal judge says New Jersey cannot partially lift a prohibition on sports betting in an effort to boost the state's struggling horse racing and casino industries.

in Sports

This week’s top sports shots

AP128102560467

A look at some of the biggest plays and best wins that happened this week in sports.

Bellingham Traffic