Hear that?

It's the sound of the countdown clock as the Tigers continue what's become a relentless march.

Game by game, series by series, they're getting it done — sometimes with pitching, often with hitting.

And occasionally, although it wasn't a vintage Justin Verlander performance in Wednesday's 8-6 victory over the Indians, with a sufficient combination of both.

Verlander went six innings to improve to 22-5 with his 10th consecutive victory. No Tigers pitcher since at least 1919 had won 10 games in 10 appearances.

But also on the pitching front, Jose Valverde earned his 42nd save, tying the team record set by Todd Jones in 2000.

The overall picture of what's taking place with this team, however, is more important than the individual achievements.

In the last week, the first-place Tigers have done more than put themselves in the "nice position" manager Jim Leyland talks about.

"I'm holding my ground on that," Leyland said. "Nobody's going to get me to say anything different."