DETROIT -- Jose Valverde's postgame dance had a little more flair to it Sunday, and for good reason.
Not only did Valverde's 43rd save of the season clinch a sweep of the Twins, moving the team's magic number to eight (and later seven), it was a new single-season record for the Tigers.
"When you break and record and, knock on wood, you go 43 straight, that's a pretty impressive record to do it like he did," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said.
Valverde was cautious of a potential shaving-cream pie to the face in the postgame TV interview, but stayed clean. However, Miguel Cabrera was able to get Valverde afterward, and several players showered the closer with beer.
"Cabrera is the only one tall enough to get him with the pie," reliever Daniel Schlereth said.
Cleanliness aside, Valverde broke Todd Jones' previous record of 42 saves, which Jones set in 2000. Valverde's career high for single-season saves is 47, which he accomplished with the D-backs in 2007. When asked if he thought this might be his best season, Valverde didn't seem to care; he was just happy that his saves result in wins.
"It's good for me, my family and all my friends," Valverde said. "But what I want is to compete all the time, be in the field, save the game for my team to go to the postseason. That's what I want. It's good, but I want to go to the World Series."
This season, Valverde has been a perfect 43-for-43. They haven't all been easy -- he allowed one run to score and the tying run to reach second base on Sunday -- but Valverde is one of the biggest reasons the Tigers are inching closer and closer to a division title and a shot at the World Series.