With everything that's gone wrong this season with the Detroit Tigers' pitching staff, the last thing they needed was to add Justin Verlander to that list of concerns. Coming off a four-game losing streak which was probably the worst stretch of his young career, Verlander bounced back with another nice effort against the Baltimore Orioles.
Holding a lineup that had been crushing the ball - especially against Detroit - to four hits and no earned runs is an impressive effort on any night, but especially last night when both the Tigers and Verlander needed it.
The two unearned runs scored on an error from Carlos Guillen, who sailed a throw high over Miguel Cabrera's head after a ground ball that would've gotten them out of the third inning unscathed. Of course, that grounder to third was hit by Melvin Mora. Everything his bat touches when playing the Tigers seems to turn to gold. (Mora went 2-for-3 on the night.)
Guillen made up for the error an inning later with a solo home run that gave the Tigers a lead they kept for the rest of the night. (If that pinched nerve in Guillen's back is something that's going to lead to a more serious problem, it sure didn't look like it on that swing.) Unlike Friday, double-digit hit totals actually led to a decent amount of runs for the home team.
And any time this bullpen gives up just one run in three innings, that has to be considered a little victory, right? (Five hits allowed, though. The off-season overhaul can't come soon enough.)