CHICAGO – Detroit pitcher Justin Verlander continued his mastery of the White Sox, helping the Tigers beat Chicago 7-1 on Friday.

Detroit, which won for the fifth time in six games, is a half-game behind first-place Kansas City in the American League Central. The Tigers are a game ahead of the Mariners in the battle for the second AL wild-card spot.

Meanwhile, Chicago has lost nine of 10.

Verlander (12-11) beat the White Sox for the 14th time in 18 decisions since June 10, 2009 — the most victories by any pitcher against one opponent in that span.

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The former AL most valuable player allowed one run and nine hits in seven innings.

It was the first time this year Verlander, who has a 4.68 earned-run average, allowed fewer than two runs in a game. He matched his season high with eight strikeouts and walked two.


• The Los Angeles Angels extended their winning streak to four and their AL West lead to three games over second-place Oakland by beating the visiting Athletics 4-0. Winning pitcher Jered Weaver (15-7) is 8-1 over his last 14 starts.

• Injured ace Masahiro Tanaka of the New York Yankees has general soreness in his right arm, a setback in the Japanese standout’s bid to rejoin the rotation this season.

Tanaka, 12-4 with a 2.51 ERA in his first season in the majors, hasn’t pitched since July 8 as he recovers from a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow. He threw 49 pitches in a simulated game Thursday and said his arm was sore a day later.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said it would be “maybe a week” until Tanaka throws his next bullpen session.

• Cleveland signed Russell Branyan, 38, to a minor-league deal for the remainder of the season. He has spent at least part of six seasons with the Indians and hit 31 homers for the Mariners in 2009.