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Game 78: Tigers at Athletics

Justin Verlander (8-3, 3.40) vs. Dallas Braden (5-7, 3.26), 3:35 p.m. EST

After turning cold on Monday night, the Detroit bats showed some life last night with 12 hits. Can the offense keep it rolling, give their starting pitcher some runs, and get the Tigers out of Oakland with a series win?

Dallas Braden is winless in his past four starts, despite allowing two earned runs in each of those games. He gave up a lot more than that last time he faced the Tigers, however. During that May series in Detroit, Braden was knocked around for six runs and nine hits in five innings, one of his shortest outings of the season. In five career starts against the Tigers, his record is 1-2 with a 9.13 ERA.

Justin Verlander wasn't at his sharpest last Friday versus the Astros. Houston deserves some credit for a game plan that called for taking a lot of pitches and wearing Verlander out. (He threw 116 pitches in 5.1 innings.) But by only allowing three runs, he kept the Tigers in the game. And they probably would've won, had Joel Zumaya not decided to walk virtually every hitter he faced. Verlander has faced the A's six times over his career, compiling a 3-2 record and 2.61 ERA.