Tigers overcome shaky start

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DETROIT (AP) -- Justin Verlander knows he isn't going to make a sixth straight All-Star team.

A few more performances like the one Wednesday might mean he's heading in the right direction, however.

Verlander overcame a pair of long home runs in the first inning and left with a comfortable lead after the sixth as the Detroit Tigers beat the Oakland Athletics 9-3 for a three-game sweep.

Verlander (7-7) started the day looking like the pitcher who has been searching for his mechanics for most of the season. Coco Crisp began the game with a shot over the access tunnel down the right-field line, and Brandon Moss went even deeper into the right-field stands with two out.

That, though, was the last time the A's scored off the pitcher who has dominated them in each of the last two postseasons. Verlander wasn't sharp, allowing nine hits, but he didn't walk a batter.

"I didn't make a big adjustment, I just got more into my rhythm," he said. "My changeup wasn't good, but I was able to throw my slider to lefties, where usually that's just fastball and curve."

With a .500 record and a 4.71 ERA, even Verlander's years of dominance aren't going to get him to Minnesota later this month for the All-Star festivities.

WHITE SOX 3, ANGELS 2

CHICAGO -- Leury Garcia did all he could to stay ready, to be prepared when his chance came. When he got it, he sure did deliver.

RAYS 6, YANKEES 3

NEW YORK -- Sean Rodriguez hit a tiebreaking homer in the sixth inning and drove in three runs, helping the streaking Tampa Bay Rays extend their longest winning string this year to five and hand the New York Yankees their season-worst fifth straight loss, 6-3.

NATIONALS 4, ROCKIES 3

WASHINGTON -- After a replay review, Ian Desmond's solo homer provided the go-ahead run for Washington and the victory that finished off a three-game sweep.

MARINERS 5, ASTROS 2

HOUSTON -- Logan Morrison drove in two runs in a big sixth inning, Chris Young pitched seven strong innings and Seattle completed a three-game sweep.

BLUE JAYS 7, BREWERS 4

TORONTO -- Edwin Encarnacion hit a three-run, walk-off home run in the ninth inning and Toronto dealt Milwaukee its third straight loss.

ORIOLES 6, RANGERS 4

BALTIMORE -- Adam Jones and Ryan Flaherty hit solo homers, and Baltimore beat Texas for the third straight time in a game delayed 1 hour, 38 minutes by rain.

CUBS 16, RED SOX 9

BOSTON -- Justin Ruggiano, Mike Olt and Welington Castillo hit two-run homers to power Chicago in the finale of a three-game interleague series sweep.

BRAVES 3, METS 1

ATLANTA -- Chris Johnson hit a three-run double, Julio Teheran pitched seven strong innings and Atlanta polished off a three-game sweep.

PIRATES 5, DIAMONDBACKS 1

PITTSBURGH -- Gregory Polanco homered, Charlie Morton continued his effective pitching at home and Pittsburgh won for the fifth time in six games.

MARLINS 5, PHILLIES 0

MIAMI -- Casey McGehee reached base three times, doubled home a run and scored another, helping Miami send Philadelphia to its sixth straight loss.

ROYALS 4, TWINS 0

MINNEAPOLIS -- Jason Vargas threw seven scoreless innings and Raul Ibanez homered in his second game for Kansas City.

CARDINALS 2, GIANTS 0

SAN FRANCISCO -- Adam Wainwright allowed four hits over 7 2/3 innings, Matt Carpenter continued to feast on San Francisco pitching and the St. Louis Cardinals ended a scoring drought, beating the Giants.

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