Verlander Wins No. 24 With 3-0 Win Over Oakland
Sept. 18, 2011
OAKLAND -- Former ODU pitching great Justin Verlander ('04) won his 12th straight game as he pitched the Detroit Tigers to a 3-0 victory over the Oakland A's Sunday.
Verlander is the first pitcher to win 24 games since Randy Johnson did it in 2002 with Arizona. He is also the first to win 12 straight since Minnesota's Johan Santana did it in 2004.
Verlander allowed just three hits -- all singles -- over eight innings, improving to 24-5 and lowering his ERA to 2.29. He struck out six, walked three and didn't allow a baserunner beyond first.
Verlander,the all-time strikeout king in ODU, CAA and Virginia Collegiate Div. 1 history with 427 strikeouts in 335.2 innings faced just the minimum over the first three innings, thanks to a little help from his defense. In the first, A's third baseman Scott Sizemore tried to steal second after singling with one out, but Alex Avila gunned him down.
In the second, Verlander walked Josh Willingham, but he was doubled off after David DeJesus flied out to left fielder Delmon Young. Young appeared to lose the ball in the sun, but he made the catch then fired to second baseman Carlos Guillen, who threw to Miguel Cabrera at first.
Verlander gave up a two-out single to Coco Crisp in the fourth before retiring Willingham on a pop fly.
In the seventh, DeJesus lined a one-out single off Verlander. Then with two outs, Brandon Allen sent a laser to right field, but it went right to Andy Dirks for the third out.
Verlander, the 2006 American League Rookie of the Year and four-time AL All-Star had his jersey retired at ODU last November. He also tossed a no-hitter earlier this year against Toronto, the second of his career.
Verlander threw his second career no-hitter in May and has taken two more into the eighth inning. He is 11-1 against division opponents and is the biggest reason the Tigers started the day with a 6½-game lead over Cleveland.
On Aug. 27 Justin became the fifth pitcher to reach the 20-win mark in August over the past 20 years, joining Roger Clemens (1997), John Smoltz ('96) and Jack McDowell ('93).