A much more typical affair.
Tigers 6, Pirates 5
After three shaky starts in a row, Justin Verlander (6-4, 66 IP, 3.68 ERA, 2.26 FIP, 2.5 WAR) set out to silence the doubters and did a fine job, delivering 7 innings of 3 run baseball that featured 13, yes 13, strikeouts and just 2 walks. The final stat line actually belies Verlander’s dominance as the Pirates grabbed two of their runs at the very end of the game. For most of the contest they were absolutely overmatched, until the fourth trip through the lineup. You can also see here that his fastball velocity matched the typical Verlander style that we came to love with the early ones in the low 90s and the late ones ratcheting up toward 100 (via Pitch F/X classification and velo):
On the other side, the Tigers got runs off three Jhonny Peralta (.341/.392/.500, 138 wRC+, 2.1 WAR) RBI hits, a Brayan Pena bases loaded walk, and a big Victor Martinez double. Benoit allowed two runs in the 8th inning, but also registered his first career pickoff in 805.2 career innings and turned it over to Valverde in the 9th who put the tying run on before getting out of the inning. The Tigers added their 6th win in their last 7 and now stand at 29-20 with Rick Porcello (2-2, 43 IP, 6.28 ERA, 4.53 FIP, 0.3 WAR) on the hill tomorrow looking to sweep the home half of this four game set with the Pirates.
The Moment: Verlander Ks 13 Pirates.