The Tigers weekend series got off to a bad start tonight as Jose Contreras and the White Sox shut them out 5-0. Contreras came into the game with a 5.12 ERA in his previous 10 starts but you would not know it by the way he pitched tonight. Contreras pitched a complete game 3 hit shut out while striking out 5 and walking 1. The only Tiger hits were by Curtis Granderson, Carlos Guillen and Sean Casey.
Pitching for the first time since his skipped start, Justin Verlander got roughed up for 5 runs on 13 hits in 5 innings of work. Two of those hits were 5th inning home runs by Jim Thome and AJ Pierzynski. It's much too early to get really worried but a skipped start due to a "tired arm" followed by a poor start has to make you just a little concerned for a rookie pitcher who has never pitched over 130 innings in a season until now. His next start will probably be next Wednesday at Boston.
The lone bright spot for the Tigers tonight was Wilfredo Ledezma who pitched 2 shutout innings allowing 1 hit, 0 walks with 3 strikeouts. Ledezma also pitched well last Sunday when he pitched the first 5 2/3 innings of a combined shutout while taking Verlander's turn in the rotation.
The Tiger have now lost 3 in a row for the first time since June 4-7 (1 loss to the Red Sox and 2 to the White Sox). The White Sox have the Tigers number so far this year winning 7 games of 10. The loss cut the Tiger's lead over the White Sox to 7 1/2 games. The Twins, who lost 7-1 to the Blue Jays tonight, remain 9 games behind.