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Justin Verlander's Gem Gives Tigers 4-0 Victory, 1st Place

The Detroit Tigers are now in first place in the AL Central all by themselves. Coming into Tuesday, Detroit and Cleveland were tied for the AL Central lead. After Detroit's 4-0 victory, the Tigers are all alone at the top.

If not for Orlando Cabrera's single in the eighth inning and a bloop single in the ninth by Carlos Santana, the Tigers taking first place would not have been a very big story from Tuesday night. Those were the only hits Justin Verlander allowed, and before Cabrera's single in the eighth happened, Verlander seemed to be well on his way to yet another no-hitter. He threw one in May and one almost exactly four years ago, and for a while it looked like Verlander was going to throw his third career no-no.

Verlander may not have thrown a no-hitter, but his stuff was as good as ever. He struck out 12 batters and gave up only two hits and one walk (he also hit one batter). The Indians looked lost in the batter's box all night long, allowing the Tigers to win comfortably thanks in part to the three runs they scored in the third inning. Detroit added one in the seventh for good measure.

The series between the Tigers and Indians will continue on Wednesday and Thursday, as will this battle for first place. The Tigers are in sole possession of the AL Central lead for the first time since last July, and you can bet they want to stay at the top going forward.