Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander has mounted a far better opening month than in any of the past three seasons. Yet some April strangeness remains attached to him. After he lost on a pair of Texas RBI doubles in the seventh inning in his last start -- he blanked the Rangers the rest of the game -- Verlander gave up doubles to the first three hitters in the fourth inning Saturday night. Those trio of blows produced two runs, and a third run scored in the inning when a single got past left fielder Ryan Raburn for an error. Those three runs started the A's to a 6-2 win over Verlander and the Tigers at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. The Tigers had won the first two games of the four-game series. •BOX SCORE But the A's beat the Tigers' ace, and now they have a chance for a split this afternoon when their top pitcher, Trevor Cahill, faces Brad Penny. Verlander led, 1-0, when Oakland erupted in the fourth. He could have been up 2-0 or 3-0. But the second and fourth innings became frustrating duplicates for the Tigers -- in each inning, they had runners at second and third with none out, and then no one could produce an RBI. "We did a poor job of recognizing situational hitting," manager Jim Leyland. "That was kind of disappointing. All you had to do was hit a ground ball to second base and you had a run in and another guy on third."
Justin Verlander's one bad inning costs Tigers
Detroit Free Press | Apr 17