Verlander came seven outs away from a no-hitter, allowing just two hits and one walk in eight innings while striking out 10 to send the Tigers to the ALCS. The righty was in peak form all night, hitting 97 mph with his fastball on several occasions and mixing in a mid-eighties change and a curve to dominate Oakland hitters. He was perfect until the sixth inning, when he issued a six-pitch walk to Josh Reddick with one out. Verlander squashed that threat quickly and remained hitless into the seventh. With two outs in that inning, Yoenis Cespedes hit a ground ball single up the middle to break up the no-hitter. Josh Reddick added a second hit in the eighth.
With the no-hitter bid over, Verlander was replaced in the ninth inning by Joaquin Benoit. The Tigers closer allowed a two-out double to Jed Lowrie and then hit Cespedes to bring the tying run to the plate and lend some drama to the final frame, but he got a fly out from Seth Smith to close out the win and clinch the ALCS berth.
Verlander now has a streak of 30 straight scoreless postseason innings against the A's and 28 straight scoreless innings overall dating back to regular season.
On offense, Miguel Cabrera was the hero for the Tigers. After struggling with a hip injury and going 4-16 without an extra base hit in the series, Cabrera went deep on a 1-0 fastball from Athletics starter Sonny Gray in the fourth inning to put the Tigers on the board. Detroit added an insurance run in the sixth on an RBI ground out from Omar Infante. Sonny Gray takes the loss for Oakland, allowing three runs on six hits and four walks with three strike outs.
With this win, Detroit advances to the ALCS where they will face the Red Sox beginning on Saturday in Boston