Tigers inching toward first with win

DETROIT — The Detroit Tigers are inching their way toward the top of the American League Central standings following a 4-2 win over first place Chicago on Friday at Comerica Park.

Tigers ace Justin Verlander got the best of White Sox starter Jake Peavy, helping Detroit move to within a half game of first place in the division. Detroit (50-44) has now won 10 out of its last 12 games. Chicago fell to 50-43 on the year and could fall out of first place with a Tigers win on Saturday.

The White Sox started the scoring in the top of the third when Alejandro De Aza hit a two-run homer to deep right off Verlander to make it 2-0.

Detroit would regain the lead in the bottom half of the inning, however, when it got consecutive RBI singles from Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder, followed by an RBI double by Delmon Young to make it 3-2.

Detroit would add an insurance run in the bottom of the seventh when Austin Jackson singled in Jhonny Peralta to make it 4-2.

Outside of the third inning, Verlander (11-5) was in control on Friday, going eight innings while giving up four hits and two earned runs. He struck out seven batters. Jose Valverde preserved the win in the ninth, picking up his 18th save of the season.

Detroit got most of its offensive production out of the middle of the lineup, with Cabrera and Fielder leading the way with two hits and an RBI each. Peralta collected two hits for the Tigers while scoring two runs in the win. The Tigers out-hit the White Sox 10-4 on Friday.

Verlander out-dueled White Sox starter Jake Peavy (7-7), who gave up four earned runs in seven innings of work while striking out seven.

Detroit and Chicago will battle again at 4:05 p.m. on Saturday. Rick Porcello (6-5) will make the start for the Tigers while Chris Sale (11-2) will go for the White Sox.

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