The Detroit Tigers had lost two games in a row, and Justin Verlander considered it his job to keep the streak from reaching three.

"Absolutely. We lost our last two games, and I really just wanted to go out there and make a statement," he said last night after leading the visiting Tigers to a 7-2 victory over the Boston Red Sox. "Everybody on this team can play that role. I just happened to be the guy today."

Verlander scattered six hits over 7 2/3 innings, and Brandon Inge and Magglio Ordonez homered.

Verlander (4-1) allowed two runs and struck out seven before leaving the game when Kevin Youkilis hit a solo home run in the eighth. The reigning AL Rookie of the Year, Verlander has allowed four earned runs in four road starts this season.

The Tigers have won 12 of their last 15 games despite losing their previous two, including Monday's 7-1 loss to Boston in Daisuke Matsuzaka's first major league complete game.

Inge hit a solo homer in the third to snap Tim Wakefield's shutout streak at 16 innings. After Curtis Granderson and Gary Sheffield singled, Ordonez homered over the Green Monster to make it 4-1.

Red Sox outfielder J.D. Drew bruised his lower back when he banged into the bullpen wall going after Inge's homer, and he left the game after seven innings.

In other games:

* At Toronto, Jesse Litsch pitched into the ninth inning in his major league debut and Troy Glaus singled in the go-ahead run in the sixth to help the Blue Jays beat the Baltimore Orioles, 2-1.

Litsch, called up because Roy Halladay could miss 4 weeks following an appendectomy, became the first Blue Jay to win his debut as a starter since lefthander Gustavo Chacin beat the New York Yankees on Sept. 20, 2004, at Yankee Stadium.

* At Cleveland, Paul Byrd won for the first time in three starts in May and the Indians had two six-run innings in accumulating season highs in hits (17) and runs in a 15-7 victory over the Minnesota Twins.

Jhonny Peralta homered and had four RBI, Grady Sizemore had four hits, including a two-run homer, and Josh Barfield had three hits and three RBI for the Indians.

* At Kissimmee, Fla., Brendan Harris' bases-loaded single in the 10th inning - his fourth hit of the game - drove in the winning run as the Tampa Bay Devil Rays edged the Texas Rangers, 4-3, in a game played at Disney World.

Hank Blalock homered for the third straight game for the Rangers.

* At Chicago, the game between the White Sox and New York Yankees was rained out and will be made up as part of a day-night doubleheader today.

Noteworthy

* The Texas Rangers placed pitcher Kevin Millwood on the 15-day disabled list, a day after returning to the team and aggravating a hamstring injury that had kept the former Phillie out for 2 weeks.

* The Texas Rangers placed pitcher Kevin Millwood on the 15-day disabled list, a day after returning to the team and aggravating a hamstring injury that had kept the former Phillie out for 2 weeks.

Reliever Ron Mahay also was put on the disabled list with a strained muscle in his rib cage.

* The Oakland Athletics placed closer Huston Street on the DL with nerve irritation in his right elbow and called up righthander Connor Robertson from Triple A Sacramento. Street, the 2005 AL Rookie of the Year, will have a second MRI exam today.

* The Cleveland Indians extended the contracts of assistant general managers Chris Antonetti and John Mirabelli. Antonetti also was promoted to vice president of baseball operations. *