Settling for another win against Milwaukee would have to do.
In his second start against the Brewers, and with the same plate umpire as in his no-hitter, Verlander pitched into the eighth and Brandon Inge(notes) hit a three-run homer to lead the Tigers to a 3-2 win over Milwaukee.
“It was ironic to even have the same home-plate umpire, but you can’t go into a game thinking about doing something like that,” Verlander said. “That’s just something where everything in the world goes your way for a night. Besides, it was all gone pretty quickly.”
Verlander, though, didn’t allow another run until the eighth inning.
“When I saw him in 2007 with Oakland, he had a fastball and a curveball, and he was pretty good,” Milwaukee manager Ken Macha said. “Now he’s got a changeup and a slider. That’s how a pitcher takes a step to the next level.”
Verlander (8-3) allowed two runs on five hits in 7 2-3 innings. He struck out eight while improving to 8-1 since April 27.
“The way you win in the majors is to have enough hot players to pick up the guys who might not be,” Inge said. “Right now, Verlander and (Edwin) Jackson have been carrying us, and there will be a time where we carry them.”
“That was a great start by Yo—that’s as good as we’ve gotten in a while,” Macha said. “He hung a two-out slider and the guy hits a three-run homer. That was about the only thing he did wrong, but we didn’t get many chances against the other guy.”
“He didn’t pick up the ball, and you have to do that,” Macha said. “When you are running in that situation, you’ve got to use your other senses, and if you hear the crack of the bat, you have to find the ball.”
“That wasn’t my best velocity of the season, but I had good life on my fastball, and that was the best changeup I’ve had all year,” he said. “I knew that was going to be a tough team to shut down, and that we probably wouldn’t get many runs off Gallardo.”
“That shows you how good Justin was,” Inge said. “That’s a team that can easily put up 10 or 15 runs on you, and he held them to two—and don’t forget Bobby striking out Prince. That was big.”
NOTES: The Tigers optioned rookie reliever Ryan Perry(notes) to Triple-A Toledo after the game. They will add a player to the roster before Tuesday’s series opener with Chicago. … Detroit 2B Placido Polanco(notes), who left Saturday’s game after being hit in the leg with a pitch, had a previously scheduled day off on Sunday. … The game was Detroit’s first sellout since the home opener. … Leyland said after the game that he is “looking” at playing Magglio Ordonez(notes) on Tuesday, but that he hasn’t made a final decision. Ordonez hasn’t played since June 17 while battling a season-long power slump.