DETROIT — Justin Verlander allowed one earned run in seven innings, leading the Detroit Tigers to a 6-3 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday night.
Verlander (7-4) retired 12 of the first 13 hitters he faced and worked out of a seventh-inning jam to help Detroit hold on. He struck out Allen Craig with the bases loaded with his final pitch. Verlander allowed five hits and walked four, striking out only three.
Joaquin Benoit worked the eighth, and Phil Coke pitched a perfect ninth for his first save of the year.
Lance Lynn (10-3) allowed five runs and nine hits in five innings. He struck out four and walked two.
Austin Jackson hit a two-run double for the Tigers, part of their three-run second inning.
Verlander worked at least six innings for a 57th straight start, the longest streak since Steve Carlton's 69-gamer from 1979-82. Last year's AL Cy Young and MVP winner had struck out at least four batters in every start this season, but the Cardinals were able to make consistent contact.
Verlander allowed a hit and two walks in the seventh to load the bases before left fielder Quintin Berry dropped Carlos Beltran's deep flyball for an error that allowed two runs to score, making it 6-3. After a walk to Matt Holliday loaded the bases again, Verlander reached 101 mph with his 105th pitch of the night. Then he hit 100 with the next one before eventually getting Craig to chase a breaking ball for strike three.
The Tigers have won eight of their last 11 and are slowly climbing out of a hole in the AL Central. They trailed the first-place Chicago White Sox by 2 1/2 games entering the night.
Miguel Cabrera doubled in the first and scored on a single by Delmon Young. Jackson's double with the bases loaded in the second made it 3-0, and Berry followed with an RBI groundout.
Young brought home another run with a single in the fifth.
Lynn had allowed five runs only one other time as a starter, on June 2, 2011, against San Francisco.
Holliday drove in a run with a sixth-inning groundout, but Cabrera's RBI single in the bottom half made it 6-1.
NOTES: Detroit activated RHP Octavio Dotel from the disabled list and optioned RHP Thad Weber to Triple-A Toledo. The Tigers also released Toledo DH Brad Eldred, saying he had decided to sign with the Hiroshima Toyo Carp of Japan. ... Verlander is 18-2 in 24 starts in interleague play. ... Detroit LHP Drew Smyly (blister on left middle finger) threw a bullpen session Tuesday and says he'll be ready when he's eligible to come off the DL on June 26. ... Detroit RHP Rick Porcello (4-4) will face St. Louis RHP Jake Westbrook (5-6) on Wednesday.