Powered by a complete game from ace pitcher Justin Verlander, the Detroit Tigers narrowly avoided a three-game sweep by Pittsburgh on Sunday in a 3-2 victory.
Everything was going swimmingly for Verlander through his first six frames, until Pittsburgh third baseman Pedro Alvarez tallied just the third hit against the hard-throwing pitcher to begin the 7th inning and took the MVP winner out of his comfort zone. Outfielder Garrett Jones then followed suit immediately after with his 9th home run of the year to pull the game into a 2-2 tie, muddying up Verlander's impressive start to the afternoon in the process.
Thankfully for Detroit though, Tigers outfielder Delmon Young wasted little time putting his pitcher back in line for the victory in the 8th inning on an RBI single that scored Quintin Berry. After throwing 117 pitches on the afternoon, Verlander's final line included seven strikeouts, five hits and just one walk over the full nine innings. Berry, who himself picked up his 1st career home run in the opening frame off Pittsburgh starter Kevin Correia, finished the game 1-for-2 with a pair of walks, two RBI and a steal.
Next up for the Tigers is a dangerous three-game set against the defending American League champion Texas Rangers that begins on Monday in Arlington.