- Associated Press - Sunday, September 18, 2011

OAKLAND, CALIF. (AP) - Justin Verlander won his 12th straight start, pitching three-hit ball over eight innings to become the first pitcher in nine years to reach 24 wins and lead the AL Central champion Detroit Tigers over the Oakland Athletics 3-0 Sunday.

Verlander (24-5) extended his scoreless streak to 17 innings, becoming the first pitcher to win a dozen starts in a row since Minnesota’s Johan Santana in 2004, according to STATS LLC.

Verlander has the most wins in a major league season since Arizona’s Randy Johnson in 2002. With another victory, he would become the winningest pitcher in a season since Oakland’s Bob Welch went 27-6 in 1990.

Austin Jackson homered leading off the sixth, the first hit off Guillermo Moscoso (8-9).

Rays 8, Red Sox 5

BOSTON (AP) _ David Price took a line drive off his chest but stuck around to pitch four solid innings, and Tampa Bay capitalized on wild knuckleballs from Tim Wakefield (7-7) to cut Boston’s AL wild-card lead to two games.

Boston lost for 11th time in 14 games, including defeats in six of seven against the Rays. Tampa Bay trailed Boston by nine games on Sept. 3.

Price took Mike Aviles’ liner off his right shoulder Price pitched the fourth before leaving for what the team said was precautionary reasons.

Matt Joyce had three hits and three RBIs, Jake McGee (3-1) pitched 2 2-3 innings, and Joel Peralta got three outs for his fifth save.

Wakefield threw one wild pitch and Jarrod Saltalamacchia muffed four of his knucklers for passed balls, miscues that contributed to three runs.

Blue Jays 3, Yankees 0

TORONTO (AP) _ Mariano Rivera remained at 601 saves as Adam Lind homered twice off Freddy Garcia (11-8) to back Brandon Morrow (10-11).

Morrow allowed four hits in eight innings, struck out eight and walked one. Frank Francisco pitched around an Eduardo Nunez double in the ninth for his 16th save.

New York remained 4 1-2 games ahead of second-place Boston in the AL East.

Rangers 3, Mariners 0

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