Chicago White Sox
Verlander pitched his final regular season start of 2014 better than he had pitched all season.
“It’s a little weak that they would hit him,” Ausmus said. “If they injure Victor there and we’re in the playoff hunt, that’s bad news.”
Justin Verlander pitched eight impressive innings, and the Detroit Tigers inched closer to a postseason spot Wednesday, rallying after benches cleared in the sixth inning to beat the Chicago White Sox 6-1.
Chicago White Sox ace Chris Sale and Detroit’s Victor Martinez exchanged words in the sixth inning Wednesday, causing the benches and bullpens to empty briefly. The situation didn’t escalate.
“I think certain guys have, when the stage is bigger and the spotlight’s brighter, they turn up their concentration, their game is elevated,” Ausmus said. “I think there is some truth to that.”
Detroit is one game ahead of the second-place Royals, who beat Cleveland 2-0 Monday night, after the Indians finished off a victory in a suspended game against Kansas City.
The biggest issue for Detroit was its defense, particularly in the early going.
The Tigers put it away with three runs in the ninth, as J.D. Martinez hit a sacrifice fly and Alex Avila and Don Kelly added RBI singles.
After the Tigers tagged Sale for three runs in the first inning, the White Sox countered with six-straight off of Max Scherzer.
Martinez has been with the Tigers since coming over from the Red Sox in 2011, but missed the entire 2012 season with a torn ACL.