The Tigers lost to the Athletics 2-1 today in 10 innings and have now lost 2 in a row for the first time since June 7 when they were on a 3 game losing streak. This game belonged to the pitchers. Justin Verlander and Dan Haren dueled to a 1-1 tie after 7 innings. The Athletics scored in the first inning when Jay Payton singled home Mark Kotsay. The Tigers countered in the 4th on a solo home run by Vance Wilson. In 7 innings of work, Verlander allowed just 3 hits and 2 walks while Haren allowed 4 hits and no walks.
The bullpens took over from there. The Oakland quartet of Kiko Calero, Huston Street, Ron Flores and Chad Gaudin held the Tigers scoreless for the last 3 frames. For the Tigers, Zumaya pitched 2 scoreless innings (although he allowed 4 hits) to send the game to extra innings. In the bottom of the 10th, Fernando Rodney walked two batters and then allowed a two out hit to Payton (who also won last night's game with a 3 run home run in the 6th) to lose the game. Rodney has not been sharp lately as he has allowed runs in 5 of his last 10 appearances. So much for Rodney taking over the closer role from Todd Jones. At least for now.
Verlander had a relatively tough June but pitched well in his last game of the month and got off to a good start for July with today's performance. In his last two starts, Verlander has pitched 15 innings allowing 1 run, 6 hits and 2 walks. His ERA for the season is 3.01 which is third in the league. He still has a chance to make the allstar team and you can help vote him in at MLB.COM. I wouldn't mind seeing him rest during the break but I certainly won't deny that he deserves the honor.