Justin Verlander backed up his strong words on social media with his best performance of the season. But even that wasn't enough for the slumping Detroit Tigers to earn a victory.
He hasn't had much success against Baltimore in recent years, though, and he'll try to move past those struggles and help snap the Orioles' five-game winning streak Friday night at Camden Yards.
Verlander (2-3, 5.40 ERA) allowed at least three runs in five of his first six starts while appearing out of sorts. He bounced back Sunday, allowing three hits and striking out nine in seven scoreless innings before getting a no-decision in Detroit's 8-3 loss to Texas. He gave up seven runs in a loss to Cleveland in his previous outing, after which he posted on Twitter: ''I'm going to dominate soon! I'm close. Doubt me if you want... We'll see.''
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''Obviously, one start doesn't dictate dominating, especially when we don't win,'' Verlander said. ''I sent that out because that's the way I felt. I feel like every start's getting better and better. The numbers didn't show it.''
The right-hander certainly hasn't dominated the Orioles in recent years, going 2-3 with a 6.20 ERA in his last seven starts against them, including one in the postseason. Adam Jones and Jonathan Schoop homered off Verlander as he allowed seven runs over 3 2/3 innings the last time he faced them July 19.
Schoop hit a tiebreaking two-run triple in the seventh inning of Thursday's series opener, helping Baltimore win 7-5 to send Detroit (15-19) to its ninth loss in 10 games. The Tigers jumped out to a five-run lead on a homer from Jarrod Saltalamacchia and two RBIs apiece from Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez but couldn't hold on.
''If anyone's doubting that we're going out there and giving our best, I'm going to invite them and have them put on a big league uniform and go out there every single day,'' said Martinez, 10 for 13 in his last three games and batting .469 since April 29. ''Our energy, effort level is there. What else can we do? Just keep playing the game.''
The Orioles (21-12) are rolling and completed their comeback without homering after hitting 12 over their previous three. Schoop drove in three runs, Chris Davis brought in two and Jones added an RBI.
Baltimore is outscoring opponents 37-15 during its streak, and Davis is 9 for 14 with five extra-base hits and six RBIs in his last three games.
''It was very unusual for us," Davis said about 10 of the Orioles' 12 hits being singles. "I'm proud of the way we've been going about our at-bats and not just giving in or going up there and hacking when we get down."
Chris Tillman gets the ball in this one. Tillman (4-1, 3.05) has a 1.80 ERA while winning his last three starts, overcoming 10 walks in 20 innings during that stretch. He issued four while giving up three runs - all in the first - in 6 1/3 innings of Sunday's 11-3 win over Oakland.
"It was a grind early. I think I made some pitches I wanted to make," Tillman said. "We had to make some adjustments to get through that game."
The right-hander hasn't had many problems against the Tigers, winning four straight starts - one in the postseason - and posting a 1.27 ERA over the last three. Tillman allowed a hit in the first and no more over the next seven of a 3-0 victory the last time he faced them July 18.