It might not have been the most pristine performance of his career, but Detroit Tigers starter Justin Verlander struck out eight batters to earn his second win of the season in Saturday night's 3-2 victory over Texas in game two of the doubleheader.
Verlander labored through six innings, needing an uncharacteristic 115 pitches, before leaving with a 3-1 lead to start the seventh. Despite three walks on the game, Verlander allowed just four hits, and the only run he let cross the plate went in the scorebook as unearned. The 2011 AL MVP proceeded to watch as closer Jose Valverde made things quite interesting in the bottom of the ninth, before eventually preserving the one-run lead against Texas slugger Josh Hamilton.
Detroit's offense could only manage to add runs in the fourth inning against Texas pitching, as a pair of two-out hits from Delmon Young and Ramon Santiago proved to be the difference. Prince Fielder, who finished 1-for-3, was the only other Detroit batter to record a hit on the day.
The 10-5 Tigers will send rookie Drew Smyly to the mound for Sunday's series finale. The Rangers will counter with 2012 Opening Day starter Colby Lewis, who won 14 games last season.