A Detroit error led to two runs for the Cardinals, cutting the Tigers lead to three in the seventh inning, but Justin Verlander picked up his teammates by striking out outfielder Allen Craig with the bases loaded, preserving a 6-3 lead and eventually win on Tuesday night.

It was just one of three strike outs for Verlander, who called his night efficient against a club struggling for runs. Verlander (7-4) allowed one earned run in seven innings. He allowed five hits and walked four. “I was trying to be economical,” Verlander said. “My guys gave me a four-, five-run lead, I’m not trying to go out there and strike out anybody.”

The early run support came against Lance Lynn (10-3), who allowed five runs and nine hits in five innings. He struck out four and walked two.