Spartans Prevail Over Pitt

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DETROIT (AP) -- Magglio Ordonez hit a three-run home run, Gary Sheffield had a two-run homer and Justin Verlander allowed only a run, leading the Detroit Tigers to a 5-1 victory over the Texas Rangers on Wednesday night.
The Tigers have won seven of nine to stay in the wild-card chase with the streaking New York Yankees, who began the day four games ahead for the AL's final spot in the postseason.
Texas has dropped two straight after winning 13 of 15.
Verlander (17-5) became the first Detroit pitcher to win at least 17 games in consecutive seasons since Jack Morris in 1986-87. The reigning AL Rookie of the Year, who was 17-9 last season, gave up seven hits, a walk and struck out seven.
He has won four straight starts, combining to allow just three runs.
Todd Jones struck out the side in the ninth.
Edinson Volquez (2-1) gave up five runs, seven hits and four walks while striking out a career-high six. He made his third start of the season and the 14th of his career.
A day after snapping an 0-for-25 skid, Sheffield's two-run homer in the first inning ended a 16-game homerless drought.
Ordonez's three-run shot put Detroit ahead 5-1 in the sixth, giving him 132 RBIs for the season -- the most since Cecil Fielder had 133 in 1991. The AL MVP candidate is three RBIs away from his career high and nine away from being the first Tiger to drive in more than 140 runs since Hank Greenberg in 1940.
The Rangers put two on with no outs in the fourth and two on with one out in the sixth, and came away with only a run.
Young doubled in the sixth and scored on David Murphy's single to make it 2-1.
It didn't stay close for long.
In the home half, Placido Polanco and Sheffield led off with walks and Ordonez followed with a 393-foot liner over the left-center wall to give Detroit a four-run cushion.
Notes:@ Morris won 21 games in 1986 and 18 the next year. ... Young extended his hitting streak to 12 games, matching the longest for the team this year. ... RHP Scott Feldman returned to Texas to have his right knee examined. ... Verlander also won four straight in May and June. ... Ordonez had a career-high 135 RBIs in 2002 with the Chicago White Sox. ... Texas recalled RHP Armando Galarraga from Triple-A Oklahoma. ... Detroit won the season series 5-4.

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