Justin Verlander bounced back from his poor performance in the All-Star Game by tossing eight scoreless innings on Sunday to help the Detroit Tigers blank the Baltimore Orioles, 4-0, in the rubber match of a three-game series.
Verlander (10-5) gave up just three hits and recorded eight strikeouts for the Tigers, who have won seven of eight. As the starting pitcher for the American League in the All-Star Game on Tuesday, Verlander was charged with five runs in just one inning of work.
But the right-hander regained his form Sunday, and has now worked six or more innings in each of his last 61 starts for the Tigers dating back to Aug. 22, 2010. It marks the longest such streak by a major league pitcher since Steve Carlton did so in 69 straight starts from Sept. 13, 1979-April 13, 1982.
"The horse did what horses do," Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. "Just a stellar performance by Verlander, and we go home winning the series."
Miguel Cabrera and Austin Jackson hit solo homers for Detroit, which got an RBI apiece from Alex Avila and Jhonny Peralta.
Miguel Gonzalez (1-1) allowed three runs on six hits over 5 2/3 innings for the Orioles, who have lost four of five.
"After the All-Star Game I thought we were going to have a real good shot of lighting him up, but I think he was just setting us up," Orioles left fielder Chris Davis said jokingly. "He's good. He won the MVP last year for a reason. I felt like, at times, that he was just toying with us."
Jackson led off the game with a homer to right-center field and the Tigers never looked back.
Detroit tacked on another run in the second after Brennan Boesch doubled, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on Peralta's bloop single to right.
The Tigers added to their lead in the sixth. Prince Fielder walked, advanced to second on Boesch's bloop single to center and raced home on Avila's single to right. Avila's hit went under the glove of Baltimore second baseman Robert Andino, who suffered a left shoulder injury on the play. Andino got hurt while diving to his left.
Meanwhile, Verlander was dominant on the mound for Detroit. He retired 12 straight batters before giving up a two-out single to Mark Reynolds in the seventh.
Jose Valverde worked around a leadoff single in the ninth to secure the victory.
The Tigers will host the Orioles at Comerica Park on Aug. 17-19...Ryan Flaherty replaced Andino at second base...The Orioles placed starter Jason Hammel on the 15-day disabled list Sunday with a right knee injury. Hammel will undergo arthroscopic surgery and is expected to be sidelined at least 3 to 4 weeks. To fill Hammel's spot on the roster, Baltimore recalled pitcher Steve Johnson from Triple-A Norfolk. Johnson gave up one run in two innings of work on Sunday. He was sent back to Norfolk after the game...Verlander improved to 7-0 in 10 career starts versus Baltimore. He also picked up his 117th career victory, moving him into a tie with Denny McLain for 13th on the club's all-time list...Jackson scored a run for the 12th straight game.