DETROIT — The Sox arrived in Cleveland on Monday half a game out of first place. They return home tonight a game ahead of the Yankees. That makes it a successful trip.
The Sox were 5-2 against the Indians and Tigers after splitting today’s doubleheader. Justin Verlander threw a career-high 132 pitches over 7.2 innings for the win in the nightcap. His last pitch was clocked at 100-mph.
Verlander allowed four hits, walked two and struck out only three in a 3-0 win. The Sox had their chances late in the game but he never gave in.
“He had everything,” Terry Francona said. “Velocity, breaking ball changeup. Shoot, he got up in his pitch count and he started throwing harder.”
Josh Beckett allowed five hits and five walks over six innings but only two runs. On a lot of nights, that’s a win.
“You can’t stake [Verlander] to the lead like that,” Beckett said. “If it’s one run, that’s one thing. But he’s tough enough without staking him to a couple of runs.”
As for other stuff:
• Rich Hill threw a scoreless seventh inning in the second game, a 3-0 loss. He has thrown 12 scoreless innings in 14 appearances since making his debut with the Red Sox last Sept. 14. The 14 scoreless outings to start a Red Sox career are the most since 1919, breaking the record of 13 by Ramon Ramirez in 2009.
Hill has fanned 12 in eight innings this season.
• Jason Varitek’s double in the second game was the 300th of his career.
• The Sox matched their season low with four hits and were shutout for the fifth time this season, one more than all last year.
OK, that’s it from Comerica Park. Time to catch a few hours sleep before heading home. Thanks for everybody for reading all day. It was fun.