DETROIT (AP) -- Justin Verlander tossed seven sharp innings and the Detroit Tigers beat the Minnesota Twins 4-2 Sunday to avoid a four-game sweep.
Verlander (7-9) allowed two runs and four hits, improving to 5-0 in his last seven starts. He hasn't allowed more than two earned runs during his unbeaten streak, lowering his ERA from 5.05 to 4.15.
Clete Thomas hit his first major league homer for the Tigers, who had lost 10 of their last 12 games to the Twins.
Miguel Cabrera put Detroit ahead 3-2 with a run-scoring groundout in the fifth and Matt Joyce hit his ninth homer in the eighth.
Thomas' second-inning drive off Nick Blackburn (7-5) gave the Tigers a 2-0 lead and came after a disputed call allowed Marcus Thames to reach.
Thames hit a one-out grounder to third baseman Brian Buscher, and first base umpire Jim Wolf ruled Buscher's throw pulled Justin Morneau off the bag. After Morneau and manager Ron Gardenhire argued, all four umpires conferred, but the call stood even though replays showed Morneau was still touching the base when he caught the throw.
Blackburn (7-5) allowed three runs, two earned, and five hits in seven innings.
The Twins didn't have a hit until Alexi Casilla led off the fourth with a single. Joe Mauer grounded into a fielder's choice but Morneau doubled to put runners on second and third.
Mauer scored on Verlander's wild pitch and Brendan Harris singled in Morneau to tie it at 2. Harris has five RBIs in the last two games.
Joel Zumaya worked the eighth and Todd Jones got three outs for his 17th save in 19 tries.