Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 8/6/12

DETROIT -- The red-hot Detroit Tigers used their star power to overwhelm the New York Yankees Monday night. Nobody was more overpowering than the reigning American League MVP.

Justin Verlander equaled his career high in strikeouts, and everyone in the Detroit Tigers lineup contributed to their fifth consecutive victory. Verlander struck out 14 in eight innings while Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera hit solo homers as the Tigers won their ninth straight home game, 7-2.

"You can't ask for more than what he gave us," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "He gave the crowd what they paid for. You know you've got a star pitching, and they come to see stars. Tonight was almost a perfect night from that aspect, because Justin pitched great, Fielder hit a home run, Cabrera hit a home run. Not to slight anybody else, but stars draw a few extra people into the ballpark."

Detroit got at least one hit from all of its starters and an RBI from seven players in the opener of a four-game series against the American League Eastern Division leaders.

"That's when you know you're going pretty good, when you get contributions from everybody," Leyland said. "I talk about that all the time. I think you've got to play everybody, you've got to use everybody, and hopefully, you get contributions from everybody. That way everybody feels like they're part of the team."

Verlander (12-7), who threw 132 pitches, also had 14 strikeouts against Arizona on June 25, 2011. The only other time Verlander reached double digits in strikeouts this season was against Pittsburgh on May 18, when he recorded 12. He had given up nine runs -- seven earned -- in 12 innings over his last two games.

"It's a hard team to strike out just because of how professional every single one of their batters is," Verlander said. "They don't chase a lot of stuff, but I was able to establish my breaking ball early in the game and throw a lot of strikes with it, which allowed me to start expanding the zone a little bit. They kind of had to swing at it because I had established I could throw it for a strike when I wanted."

He made some mechanical adjustments and slowed down his pace Monday, which allowed him to get more strikes early in the count.

"Just a little angry, I guess," he said. "Two starts in a row, one inning hurt me and I wasn't able to make my pitches the way I wanted. I felt like I was letting the team down and needed to pitch better."

Jim Bunning was the last Tigers pitcher to notch 14 strikeouts against the Yankees, doing it on June 20, 1958.

"We swung the bats OK. We put up seven or eight hits on him," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "We weren't able to put a lot of them together, but he's got outstanding stuff, no doubt about it. He gets stronger as he goes on, that's kind of who he is. It seems like he saves a little bit for the last few innings."

The Yankees left nine runners on base, and Derek Jeter, who had two hits, lamented the lost opportunities.

"He shut us down," he said. "A lot of times great pitchers get a little attitude when they have guys on base and they bear down. He did that."

Ichiro Suzuki's 12-game hitting streak to start his Yankees career was snapped. He struck out three times against Verlander, as did Curtis Granderson and Mark Texeira.

"He's just a great pitcher," Ichiro said. "In the eighth inning, he still had a 100-mph fastball. The rest of his pitches are great, too."

Fielder led off the second inning with his 19th homer this season into the right-field stands. Cabrera, who has 14 career homers in 37 games against New York, increased the lead to 2-0 by blasting an 0-2 pitch over the centerfield wall in the fourth. It traveled an estimated 454 feet. He also hit a game-winning two-run homer Sunday, capping an improbable five-run, two-out rally in the 10th inning against Cleveland.

Verlander gave up two unearned runs in the fifth but had no one to blame but himself. He dropped a throw by first baseman Fielder on a Granderson grounder, extending the inning. Jeter and Robinson Cano followed with two-out, run-scoring singles to tie the game, 2-2.

The Tigers quickly regained the lead for good with a three-run outburst in the bottom of the fifth. Omar Infante and Austin Jackson had RBI singles, and Andy Dirks added a sacrifice fly against struggling Yankees starter Ivan Nova (10-6), who gave up seven runs and 11 hits in 5 1/3 innings. Nova exited the next inning after giving up three consecutive singles, including Alex Avila's run-scoring hit.

Nova has just one win in his last nine outings, including four losses and four no-decisions. He gave up a season-high nine runs to Baltimore in his last appearance. Girardi said he has no plans to remove Nova from the rotation, though.

"For the most part, the kid has been pretty good for us, but right now, he's struggling," he said. "He'll find his way out. Verlander, as good as he is, goes through struggles, too. He's not 20-0 this year."

NOTES: Yankees third baseman Eric Chavez had his second three-hit game of the season. ... Infielder Jeff Baker, acquired by the Tigers in a trade with the Chicago Cubs on Sunday, was in uniform but did not play. "It's kind of the 'Get out of jail free' card, to come and play for a contender and be in the pennant race," Baker said. "It's why you play baseball." ... Detroit's nine-game home winning streak is the longest since it won nine straight at Comerica Park from June 2-18, 2010. ... Verlander set New York down in order during the first inning. The Yankees had scored in the first inning the last five times they faced Verlander.

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