Tigers 5, Cubs 3
Verlander also helped himself with a pair of sacrifices as Detroit capped an encouraging 4-2 interleague road trip to Cincinnati and Chicago. Austin Jackson hit a tiebreaking RBI single in the seventh and a two-run homer in the ninth.
The combination of Verlander and a picturesque day in Chicago led to a season-high crowd of 42,292 that ran the total for the series to 124,782, setting a Wrigley Field record for a midweek three-game set. Tigers fans made up a good amount of that total, and they cheered everything Verlander did in the finale.
Verlander, who also won the MVP award for his dominant 2011 season, retired 10 in a row and 16 of 17 batters following Barney's one-out hit in the second. Pitcher Travis Wood was the only one to reach during that string, but he was cut down trying to stretch his two-out liner in the fifth into a double.
Verlander (6-4) yielded five hits, struck out eight and walked none in his first victory since he flirted with a no-hitter while allowing just one hit in a 6-0 victory against Pittsburgh on May 18. The ace right-hander was 0-3 with a 4.10 ERA in his previous four starts.
Jose Valverde allowed a run in the ninth before finishing for his 13th save in 16 chances.
Jackson also hit a leadoff double in the first and scored on Prince Fielder's double. He went 3 for 4 and is batting .359 (23 for 64) in his last 17 games.
Wood (0-3) allowed three runs and eight hits in 6 2-3 innings. The left-hander struck out three, walked two and hit two batters.
Verlander went 0 for 1 to leave him hitless in 22 career at-bats, but that didn't diminish his day at the plate. He moved Ryan Raburn to second with a perfect sacrifice in the seventh and Jackson followed with a base hit to give the Tigers a 3-2 lead.
NOTES: The Tigers placed LHP Drew Smyly (blister) on the 15-day disabled list and recalled INF Raburn from Triple-A Toledo. ... The Cubs put 3B Ian Stewart (sore left wrist) on the DL and promoted INF Valbuena from Triple-A Iowa. They also activated C Welington Castillo from the DL and designated C Koyie Hill for assignment. ... Detroit RHP Doug Fister will come off the DL to start Saturday's home game against Colorado. He had been sidelined with a left side strain. The Tigers will make a corresponding roster move before the game. ... Michigan State men's basketball coach Tom Izzo was on the field before the game. ... The Cubs host the Boston Red Sox for a three-game series beginning on Friday afternoon. RHP Ryan Dempster (2-3, 2.31 ERA) faces Red Sox RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka (0-1, 7.20 ERA) in the opener. ... The Tigers return home to open a three-game set against Colorado on Friday night. LHP Casey Crosby (1-1, 9.35 ERA) and Rockies LHP Jeff Francis (0-1, 21.60 ERA) are scheduled to face off in the first game.
Jay Cohen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/jcohenap