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Thanks to Verlander's ace-ry, Tigers split the day with Red Sox

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Final - 5.29.2011 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Boston Red Sox 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0
Detroit Tigers 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 X 3 7 1
WP: Justin Verlander (5 - 3)
SV: Jose Valverde (12)
LP: Josh Beckett (4 - 2)

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BOX

KEY STAT

100 mph on pitch 132: Justin Verlander is a man among men.

KEY PLAY

Don Kelly drove in Miguel Cabrera in the eighth inning for an insurance run. Sure this probably wasn't the biggest play of the day but how often do I get to give some props to Kelly?


Final - 5.29.2011 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Boston Red Sox 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 4 7 0
Detroit Tigers 0 0 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 3 6 0
WP: Matt Albers (1 - 2)
SV: Jonathan Papelbon (10)
LP: Jose Valverde (2 - 2)

Complete Coverage >


BOX

KEY STAT

Tigers starter Andy Oliver: 3 runs in 6 IP, 3 K

KEY PLAY

Big Papi David Ortiz broke the tie with a home run off Jose Valverde in the ninth.

KEY THOUGHTS

It's Memorial Day weekend. I dont really feel like blogging, to be honest. So this will be brief. Or maybe it wasn't.

First off, great game by Justin Verlander. On a double-header day, he goes almost eight innings to save the bullpen a bit. And the man he is, he throws the ball 100 mph on his 132nd pitch -- a career high -- of the game. Unbelievable. Yet, not unbelievable. Just Verlanderful.

Earlier, we saw Andy Oliver make his 2011 debut in the rotation with a shaky start. Then what did he do? Finished up the game with a quality start.

Unfortunately that game Jose Valverde gave up the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth inning. (By the way: For those who criticize Jim Leyland for whatever he does, this is why you just can't worry about it too much. Valverde doesn't pitch in the ninth of a tie game on the road and people gripe. He does pitch in the ninth inning of a tie game at home -- proper use by the way -- and he loses. It's tough to be a manager when everyone has 20-20 hindsight, but Leyland made the right moves in both games. Unfortunately, neither worked.

Reliever David Purcey made a scoreless debut for the Tigers in the afternoon game and seemed like he looked pretty good.

So wrapping up the weekend: The TIgers nearly were swept in a four-game series by Boston, but the ace did what he does and prevented it. In doing so, the Tigers earned a major-league leading eighth shutout of the year. Despite a rather blah run of things, Detroit lost just a half game on Cleveland in the past week.

The Tigers have now completed season series against the Yankees and Red Sox and have just a game left against the Blue Jays. They do have a long series against the Rays in August, but most of the tough AL East work is now complete.