DETROIT — Justin Verlander struck out 10 in seven strong innings and Brandon Inge drove in three runs to help the Detroit Tigers beat the Seattle Mariners 6-1 on Saturday night.
The victory, coupled with Minnesota’s 8-6 loss to Tampa Bay, left the Tigers and Twins tied atop the A.L. Central.
Verlander (10-5) struck out the side in the first and third and allowed just four baserunners in the first six innings. He allowed the only Seattle run in the seventh but averted further damage by getting Chone Figgins to ground out with the bases loaded.
Verlander finished one strikeout shy of his season high, set June 16 against Washington.
Inge’s two-out single brought home Detroit’s first two runs in the fourth. An inning later, Ryan Raburn and Magglio Ordonez hit consecutive doubles to start a four-run outburst that chased Seattle starter Jason Vargas (6-4). Carlos Guillen singled in a run and Inge got his third RBI with a groundout.
Vargas, who lasted 4 1-3 innings, gave up a season-high six runs and lost his second straight start.
The Mariners had runners at second and third in the fourth but Verlander struck out Casey Kotchman to end the threat. They got their lone run in the seventh on Michael Saunders’ infield single.
Ryan Perry, activated from the disabled list earlier in the day, worked a scoreless eighth for Detroit before Jose Valverde pitched the ninth.
Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera, a late scratch from Friday’s lineup with lower back stiffness, returned Saturday and doubled in the second inning to extend his hitting streak to 12 games. He finished 1 for 2 with two runs and a pair of walks.