Detroit, MI (Sports Network) - Justin Verlander threw eight effective innings and Miguel Cabrera went 3-for-4 with two RBI, as the Detroit Tigers beat the Toronto Blue Jays, 5-2, in the opener of a four-game series.
Verlander (12-5) allowed two runs on eight hits and two walks, and struck out five in the victory, the Tigers' second in a row. Jose Valverde pitched a shutout ninth for his 20th save.
Johnny Damon went 2-for-3 with a double and scored twice for the Tigers.
Ricky Romero (7-7) allowed three runs in seven-plus innings and took the loss. The left-hander surrendered seven hits, walked four and struck out three.
John Buck hit a two-run homer in the second inning for the Blue Jays, who were coming off a series loss in Kansas City.
The Tigers, however, worked to even the game in the middle innings. In the fourth, Damon doubled with one out and later scored on Cabrera's base hit. In the following inning, Ramon Santiago, Danny Worth and Austin Jackson hit consecutive two-out singles, the latter scoring a run. Damon followed with another base hit to load the bases, but Magglio Ordonez grounded into a fielder's choice to end the inning.
But Detroit forged ahead with a three-run eighth inning. Romero was pulled after walking Damon to lead off the inning, but his replacement, Shawn Camp, provided little relief. Ordonez's base hit put two runners on for Cabrera, who doubled to left-center to plate Damon. Ryan Raburn's single brought Ordonez in, and after Scott Sizemore grounded out, Gerald Laird's sacrifice fly made it a 5-2 game.
Valverde entered for the ninth and worked around a two-out single by Edwin Encarnacion to seal the victory.
Verlander has won four consecutive decisions....Cabrera finished with two doubles...DeWayne Wise tripled for Toronto...The Blue Jays fell to 4-3 on their 10-game road trip...This is the teams' first meeting this season. Toronto took five of the eight matchups in 2009.