Justin Verlander has a knack for picking the Tigers up after a loss. In the past two seasons the club is 19-3 when Verlander pitches following a loss, and he helped deliver a much needed win this afternoon, 3-1 over the A’s in Oakland.
Verlander (4-1) dominated the Oakland A’s batters through seven innings allowing only one run on two hits, and striking out eight. He might have returned for the eighth inning, but a bleeding callus prevented him from re-taking the mound. It was his 50th consecutive start of at least six innings, it is the longest such streak since Steve Carlton accomplished the feat in 69 straight starts.
The offense delivered eight hits, and the three runs proved to be enough. Miguel Cabrera led the team with two RBI’s and three hits. Prince Fielder was 0-4, and is now in an 0-22 slump, the longest of his career.
The eighth and ninth innings were secured by Joaquin Benoit and Jose Valverde. Neither allowed a hit, and combined they struck out three. Valverde worked an 11 pitch ninth for his seventh save of the season. They snapped a week-long struggle for the Tigers bullpen who had allowed at least one earned run in each game since last Sunday against the Chicago White Sox.
A’s pitching received some help from the Tigers batters throughout the game. Tigers hitters were 2-10 with runners in scoring position for the game, and a failed sacrifice bunt by Danny Worth along with an inning ending double play from Prince Fielder allowed the ninth to end with little damage.
The series split with the A’s helped the Tigers limp to a 3-4 record on this west coast trip. The team will be in Chicago starting tomorrow night for a short two game series against the White Sox. Drew Smyly (1-0, 1.59 ERA, 1.09 WHIP) will face John Danks (2-4, 5.89 ERA, 1.44 WHIP) starting at 8:05 EST.
About the Author
Written by Jeremy Klumpp
I am a graduate of Eastern Michigan University with a degree in Electronic Media and Film. For two years I wrote a baseball blog, "Ground Rule Double," and have contributed to a book on the 1968 Detroit Tigers. If you want to read my non-sports thoughts head to jklumpp1.posterous.com.