DETROIT -- Justin Verlander recorded his fourth consecutive victory and Victor Martinez homered for the second straight game as the Detroit Tigers handed the Cleveland Indians their fifth consecutive loss, 7-5, at Comerica Park on Friday.
Verlander (8-4) gave up three runs in seven innings and struck out six. Martinez supplied three hits and scored three runs, and Torii Hunter added three hits to help the Tigers stretch their American League Central Division lead to 3 1/2 games over the Indians.
Jason Kipnis had a two-run double while Jason Giambi and Drew Stubbs hit ninth-inning solo homers for Cleveland, which lost its ninth straight road game. Losing pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez (4-4) lasted just three-plus innings, his second shortest outing this season.
The Tigers grabbed a 3-0 lead in the second inning when Martinez hit his third homer in 20 career at-bats against Jimenez, drilling a 3-1 pitch into the right-field stands.
An error by first baseman Nick Swisher helped the Tigers load the bases with two out, and Hunter drove in the second run with an infield hit. Miguel Cabrera then walked for his major-league leading 67th RBI before Prince Fielder flied out.
Jimenez gave up three consecutive hits in the fourth and was removed. Andy Dirks' RBI single, which bounced off the second-base bag, knocked in Avisail Garcia for a 4-0 Tigers lead. Dirks scored when Cabrera hit into a double play.
Verlander allowed five hits in the fifth as Cleveland cut Detroit's advantage to 5-3. The Indians loaded the bases with the aid of two infield singles before Michael Bourn singled to left, bringing in the first run. Kipnis' ensuing drive near the right-field wall bounced off Hunter's glove for a double, scoring two more runs. Verlander settled down and retired the next two batters.
Swisher's second error helped the Tigers tack on another run in the fifth. Brayan Pena's double play grounder scored Martinez, who had singled and advanced to third on the miscue.
NOTES: Cleveland's injured closer Chris Perez and his wife Melanie were charged with misdemeanor counts of drug possession on Friday. The charges came after law enforcement officials were tipped off by postal inspectors about suspicious packages addressed to Perez's home and arranged a delivery Tuesday under surveillance. Indians manager Terry Francona said he has spoken about the incident with Perez, who is on the 15-day disabled list with right shoulder soreness, but wouldn't elaborate. "Out of respect for the process, I'm not allowed to talk about it," Francona said. "We'll let it sort itself out." ... Fielder has appeared in 402 consecutive games, the majors' longest active streak. ... The Tigers have stolen 19 bases, the fewest in the American League. ... Cleveland was 16-16 all-time in games started by Verlander. ... The Indians signed journeyman reliever J.C. Romero to a minor-league contract and assigned him to Triple-A Columbus.