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Justin Verlander leaves game with right shoulder soreness, will have MRI

Justin Verlander was pulled from his start against the Pirates after just one inning, having allowed five runs on four hits. He will undergo an MRI.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Update: Justin Verlander will undergo an MRI Tuesday in Detroit. He told the media he felt pain, but not sharp pain, and he'd felt pain for a while, but didn't define "a while."

Original: The Detroit Tigers entered tonight's game against the Pittsburgh Pirates with their bullpen in disarray and in dire need of a vintage Justin Verlander performance.

What the Tigers received from their former ace was one inning of work, five runs allowed on four hits, two walks, and three strikeouts over a strenuous 40 pitches. An extremely frustrated Verlander was pulled from the game after laying down a sacrifice bunt in the top of the second.

The Tigers later announced Verlander was removed from the game due to suffering from right shoulder soreness. The former Cy Young winner will be further evaluated tomorrow.

There were signs something was amiss when trainer Kevin Rand took a mound visit mid-first inning. Verlander remained in the game and was due to bat with two on and no one out in the top of the second.

In a chaotic dugout scene, it first appeared Rick Porcello would pinch-hit, then Max Scherzer grabbed a bat. But it would be Verlander who would ultimately make the plate appearance. The right-hander got the bunt down on the first pitch, made a half-hearted attempt at heading toward first base before pulling off to the dugout halfway down the line, having never dropped his bat.

A visibly angry Verlander then marched straight into the clubhouse, to be replaced on the mound by recently called up Justin Miller.

This is uncharted territory for Verlander, who exited tonight's game with a season ERA of 4.76 and the status of his next start in doubt. Verlander has a deserved reputation as the Tigers' workhorse, having made at least 30 starts in every season of his career.

Depending on the severity of the shoulder issue, that streak may now be in jeopardy.