Detroit, MI (Sports Network) - Alex Avila had a pair of triples and drove in a run to back Justin Verlander's eight strong innings, as the Detroit Tigers took a 4-1 win over the Seattle Mariners in the opener of a four-game set.
Verlander (7-3) racked up 10 strikeouts and allowed just five hits and one run to get Detroit back on track after a 7-3 loss to Texas on Wednesday following a four-game winning streak. Verlander hasn't lost since April 27 and has gone 5-0 with a no-hitter during that span.
Brennan Boesch had a two-run shot for Detroit, which has pulled a game behind the idle AL Central-leading Cleveland Indians.
Greg Halman scored the lone run for the Mariners, who have lost four of their last six. Starting pitcher Doug Fister (3-7) tossed a complete game in the loss, allowing four runs on seven hits.
All the scoring action happened in the fifth, which was started with Halman's one-out single. He stole second and moved to third on Luis Rodriguez's flyout before scoring on Verlander's wild pitch on a strikeout to put Seattle up 1-0.
But the Tigers answered back with a four-run home half.
Avila, who was stranded during the third inning after leading off with a triple, drilled a ball into deepest part of the field for his second triple of the game that also scored Jhonny Peralta.
A little later in the inning, Don Kelly had a two-out single to plate Avila and Boesch followed with a moonshot that curled inside the right foul pole to put the Tigers up 4-1.
With Verlander on the mound, the lead stayed that way the rest of the game. Jose Valverde replaced him in the ninth and tossed a scoreless inning to record his 16th save of the season.
It was the third time in Tigers' history since at least 1919 that a Tigers catcher has tripled twice in a game. The others were Brad Ausmus in 1999 and Lance Parrish in 1980...The Tigers snapped a four-game losing streak to Seattle in Detroit...The Mariners swept the Tigers earlier in the year.