Tigers 11, Nationals 1

The SportsXchange

DETROIT -- Torii Hunter had four hits, including his 11th homer, and drove in three runs and the Detroit Tigers recorded two five-run innings as they won their fifth straight with an 11-1 romp past the Washington Nationals on Wednesday at Comerica Park.

Justin Verlander (11-8) pitched six innings, allowing one run and four hits with five walks and six strikeouts. Alex Avila homered for the second consecutive game.

Nationals starter Gio Gonzalez (7-4) gave up 10 runs in 3 1/3 innings while suffering his first loss since May 27 against Baltimore. It was the second worst performance of Gonzalez's career. He surrendered 11 earned runs in 2 2/3 innings to Minnesota on July 20, 2009.

Miguel Cabrera, who leads the majors with a .359 batting average, missed the game with an abdominal strain suffered during the Tigers' 5-1 victory over Washington on Tuesday. The injury is related to the sore left hip flexor that sidelined the third baseman for four games last week.

Ramon Santiago, who had driven in just four runs this season, smacked a two-run double to spark the Tigers' five-run second. Avila, who hit his first career grand slam off Stephen Strasburg on Tuesday, then drilled a 2-0 pitch into the left-field stands to make it 4-1. One out later, Hunter ripped a homer into the left-field stands to cap the outburst.

Hunter, Matt Tuiasosopo, Prince Fielder and Victor Martinez had consecutive RBI singles during Detroit's five-run fourth to knock out Gonzalez.

Hunter needed a triple for the cycle and nearly had one in the seventh. He rounded second base after his third extra-base hit but had to retreat with Avila stopped at third and was thrown out on the play.

NOTES: Shortstop Jose Iglesias, acquired from Boston by Detroit late Tuesday in a three-team deal, will be added to the active roster before the Tigers' weekend series against the Chicago White Sox. Iglesias, 23, batted .330 with one homer and 19 RBI in 63 games with the Red Sox this season and is considered a defensive standout. "It's hard to find major-league shortstops," manager Jim Leyland said. "He gets rave reviews about being an absolutely terrific shortstop." ... Nationals pitching coach Steve McCatty was released from a Washington, D.C., hospital on Wednesday and will rejoin the club next week after the team's weekend series in Milwaukee, according to manager Davey Johnson. McCatty, 59, was taken to a hospital before the Nats' home game against the New York Mets on Sunday because of an irregular heartbeat and high blood pressure. ... Nationals reliever Ross Ohlendorf left the game in the fourth after facing three batters because of an undisclosed injury.
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