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Tigers extend division cushion over Indians

CLEVELAND (AP) ― Doug Fister’s breaking ball put the brakes on Cleveland’s challenge to first-place Detroit.

Fister struck out a career-high 13, Victor Martinez hit a three-run homer and the Tigers beat the Indians 4-2 on Monday to extend their AL Central lead to 7 1/2 games.

“That’s the best I’ve seen Fister,” said Tigers manager Jim Leyland, still wary of the gritty Indians.

“I’m not looking ahead,” he said. “We haven’t done anything but put ourselves in good position. That’s all.”

Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski laid the groundwork for the surge by acquiring Fister (7-13) from Seattle on July 30.

The right-hander is 4-1 in seven starts for Detroit. He gave up an earned run and four hits over eight innings.

“He did a little of this when they were looking for that,” Leyland said. “The curve was a huge pitch for him and he stayed out of the middle of the plate. You can’t hardly pitch better than he did today.”

Jose Valverde worked a perfect ninth to move to 41 for 41 in save opportunities, extending his team record and helping the Tigers improve to 14-4 since leading the Indians by 1 1/2 games on Aug. 19. Detroit began a three-game home sweep of the Indians that night and has won five straight against them, sending Cleveland to its largest deficit of the season.

Yankees 11, Orioles 10

Nationals 7, Dodgers 2

Blue Jays 1, Red Sox 0

Rays 5, Rangers 1

Pirates 3, Astros 1

White Sox 2, Twins 1 Gm. 1

White Sox 4, Twins 0 Gm. 2

Cubs 4, Reds 3

D-backs 10, Rockies 7

Royals 11, A’s 6

Giants 7, Padres 2

Brewers 4, Cardinals 1

Phillies 9, Braves 0

Marlins 9, Mets 3

Angels 7, Mariners 3
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