Tigers ace Verlander toes rubber versus Orioles

Justin Verlander is starting to get hot.

The hard-throwing right-hander goes after a fifth straight winning decision on Tuesday when the Detroit Tigers continue a three-game series versus the Baltimore Orioles at Comerica Park.

That may not be a problem, as the former American League MVP and Cy Young Award winner is a perfect 8-0 against the Orioles with a 2.93 ERA in 12 starts and has already beaten them once this season.

Verlander, though, did not get a decision his last time out in Kansas City, but it was no fault of his own, as he scattered three hits over seven scoreless innings in a 3-2 loss.

"For me, it was my best start," said Verlander, who is 8-4 on the year with a 3.41 ERA. "Just because of the way I've been working to get back where I need to be. I feel like I've been getting better every start. I wasn't exactly where I want to be, but pretty doggone close."

Baltimore, meanwhile, will recall lefty Zach Britton to start in place of Jason Hammel, who continues to deal with a virus.

"He's still pretty weak, but he's getting better every day," O's manager Buck Showalter said. "The good news is we got contingency things in place."

Britton lost his only start with the Orioles this season, but was 2-1 with a 2.03 ERA in his last five starts for Triple-A Norfolk.

In Monday's opener, Max Scherzer remained undefeated by hurling six solid frames to help Detroit to a 5-1 win.

Scherzer (10-0) became the first 10-game winner in the AL by scattering seven hits and two walks while allowing only one run on Chris Davis' home-run ball. The hard-throwing right-hander struck out 10 and lowered his ERA to 3.08.

He is the first Tigers starter to open a season 10-0 since at least 1916.

"It's really nice when you start realizing the history of this organization," Scherzer said before admitting wins and losses are a flukey stat for pitchers. "When you play with a good offensive team you can run into these streaks."

Miguel Cabrera backed the quality outing by going 3-for-4 with a two-run homer while Austin Jackson chipped in three hits, an RBI and two runs scored for the Tigers, who opened a 10-game homestand with their third win in four games.

Jake Arrieta (1-2) was forced into a spot-start for Baltimore and was touched for five runs on 10 hits to take the loss.

Baltimore took two of three from the Tigers earlier in the year.