Buzzing on Yahoo Sports:

Verlander lets Tigers keep pace with White Sox

The SportsXchange

One eye on the scoreboard, one eye on the standings and two eyes on the game immediately in front of them.

The Detroit Tigers freely admit they scoreboard-watch, fully aware of their positions in the standings, which was a game out of first place in the AL Central entering Monday and remained the same after the night's play.

"You can't bother about that stuff," outfielder Andy Dirks said after Detroit defeated the Kansas City Royals 6-2 to remain one game behind the Chicago White Sox in the division race. "You have to focus on winning your game. If you win, everything takes care of itself."

"I've said it all season," manager Jim Leyland said. "Win games."

It's a little easier to do with Justin Verlander on the mound and six runs in your pocket.

Verlander scattered nine hits, struck out eight and allowed two runs in eight innings. He improved to 16-8.

"You can't get uptight," Verlander said. "This is a fun game. It's not like every game is a must-win game."

Verlander survived a couple of scares, one physical.

The Royals had runners on first and third, one out in the fifth and Jarrod Dyson batting. On a throw back to Verlander after a pitch, catcher Alex Avila had his hand hit the umpire, and the ball sailed to the right of the mound.

Verlander flopped awkwardly to his right to stop the ball and landed on his left arm, hurting his shoulder. Initially it was thought there was a separation, but that turned out not to be the case.

"I kind of jammed my (left) shoulder a little bit," Verlander said. "After a couple of throws, I could tell it was fine."

Dyson struck out by a 99 mph fastball, and then Alcides Escobar fanned on a 100 mph fastball. End of threat.

"That was a little early for that," Leyland said.

It kept the score Detroit ahead 2-1, and the Tigers responded with two runs in the bottom of the fifth to expand the lead.

"Any runs you get are big," Dirks said. "It improves your chances of winning the game."

Especially with Verlander pitching.
Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Football
View Comments (3)