BOSTON -- Red-hot righty Justin Verlander won his 10th game, plowing through the Red Sox's lineup for his 15th quality start of the season in the Tigers' 4-2 win on Monday.Serving as Detroit's anchor in an injury-riddled rotation, Verlander allowed five hits and one run through six innings of one-run
BOSTON -- Red-hot righty Justin Verlander won his 10th game, plowing through the Red Sox's lineup for his 15th quality start of the season in the Tigers' 4-2 win on Monday.
Serving as Detroit's anchor in an injury-riddled rotation, Verlander allowed five hits and one run through six innings of one-run ball against the best offense in the Major Leagues.
"He was very good again," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "The pitch count got up a little bit early, but he still managed to stay in there through six. Hot and muggy night, he did an excellent job."
The righty retired 17 of 25 batters, including slugger David Ortiz in three consecutive at-bats. He improved to 4-5 in 14 career starts against the Red Sox and 3-3 in 10 starts at Fenway Park.
The only thing Verlander needed to aid his impressive outing was run support. The veteran cruised through the Boston lineup aside from giving up a run on hits by Jackie Bradley Jr. and Travis Shaw in the second.
"It was mostly location, but he was able to mix it up as well. He kept us off balance," said Bradley, who went 1-for-2 with a walk against Verlander.
The Tigers were trailing, 1-0, until the sixth, when Verlander finally received the run support from former Red Sox shortstop José Iglesias, who hit a go-ahead two-run homer deep over the Green Monster.
Verlander departed at 110 pitches, having thrown at least 100 in 18 of his 21 starts. His introduction of high-pitch at-bats came early against leadoff hitter Mookie Betts in the first.
"Obviously you know coming in it's going to be a battle," Verlander said. "This lineup is pretty relentless top to bottom. It doesn't help when the first batter of the game has a 10-pitch at-bat. That might've been the biggest play of the game getting him out right there. You have a 10-pitch at-bat, you need to get that guy out."
With Monday's win, Verlander has not allowed more than two earned runs in a start in July. He's also 3-0 with a 1.60 ERA and a .175 opponents' average in five starts this month.
A notable Red Sox batter who can't seem to figure Verlander out is Dustin Pedroia, who's 2-for-24 against the righty, including the postseason. Pedroia singled in the third, but lined out into the pitcher's glove in the fifth.
"I just caught it and Pedey's kind of looking at me and I'm like, 'Sorry, man,'" Verlander said. "I know he hasn't had a ton of hits against me, so I'm sure he wanted that one pretty bad. Took one away from him."
Deesha Thosar is a reporter for MLB.com based in Boston.