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Justin Verlander strikes out career-high 14 in Tigers' 10th shutout of season

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Final - 6.25.2011 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Arizona Diamondbacks 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 0
Detroit Tigers 0 1 0 4 0 0 1 0 X 6 11 1
WP: Justin Verlander (10 - 3)
LP: Josh Collmenter (4 - 4)

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BOX

KEY STAT

14: Justin Verlander had 14 strikeouts for a career high.

KEY STAT B

10. That's the number of shutouts by Tigers pitchers. Four games started by Justin Verlander, including tonight. Two by Max Scherzer, two by Brad Penny, one each by Rick Porcello and Phil Coke.

KEY PLAY

Alex Avila (Vote Avila!) hit a 3-run home run in the fourth inning. He leads AL catchers in average (.303), on base percentage (.373) and slugging (.545). We'll wait while you vote for him to start the all-star game.

KEY PLAYS FOR THE SHUTOUT

Arizona runners got to third with zero or one out twice in the game. Both times Verlander used strikeouts of Ryan Roberts to escape. In the eighth he struck out three consecutive Diamondbacks.

KEY THOUGHTS

I've got more keys than a janitor in today's post. Today was a case of Justin Being Justin. His team needed a win. He delivered in style. We expect nothing less and yet he always delivers more.

No hitters, near no hitters, shutouts, double-digit strikeout games night after night? What hasn't Verlander done this year? If he keeps this up for the entire year it will be one of the most impressive single seasons in franchise history. But we'll worry about where it ranks at the end of the year. For now, just enjoy it and see how it turns out I say.

The middle of the Tigers' lineup came up pretty big. Miguel Cabrera (2), Victor Martinez (2), Jhonny Peralta and Alex Avila (3) combined for 8 hits, 6 RBI and 5 runs in the game. By the way, every single one of those players is batting .300 or better this year, too. They are sandwiched between .183 and .209. Yeesh.

All six runs were scored off Josh Collmenter, native of Homer, Mich., and former player for Central Michigan. Sad for Josh to have his Michigan homecoming turn out that way, but alas rooting for the Tigers takes priority over local-boy-done-good. But best of luck to him the rest of the season!

AROUND THE DIVISION

This won't be a daily thing, but there was a lot of news today.

Cleveland lost, so the Central is back to a virtual tie. They lost Shin-Soo Choo to the disabled list for at least six weeks, after Jonathan Sanchez of the Giants broke his thumb with a fastball on Friday.

Chicago won to remain 3 games out. Stater John Danks was lost to an oblique injury and will likely hit the DL.

Minnesota got its butt handed to it 11-1 by the Brewers and lost Delmon Young to a right ankle sprain (story with video). He was taken off the field on a stretcher after running into the wall. No further info was available.