Justin Verlander Breezes Past Pirates As Tigers Win 3-2

PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 24: Justin Verlander #35 of the Detroit Tigers pitches against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the interleague game on June 24, 2012 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

I didn't think the Pirates had much of a shot in this one, but Kevin Correia did his part to keep them in it, going six innings and, uncharacteristically, striking out four batters while walking one. Unfortunately, he gave up a leadoff single to Austin Jackson to start the game, and then Quintin Berry hit a homer to right to make it 2-0 right out of the gate.

For much of the game, it felt as if two runs might as well have been a million, as Justin Verlander breezed through inning after inning, not even really throwing all that hard, at least not for him. Clint Hurdle got ejected in the fourth, and the Michael McKenry actually threw out a baserunner, but other than that, the early and middle innings were uneventful. After six frames of the Pirates offense doing practically nothing, though, Pedro Alvarez hit a one-out single in the seventh, and Garrett Jones followed with a homer to right to tie the game at two.

That might have set up a glorious comeback, especially with the Reds losing to the Twins this afternoon, but it wasn't to be, as Chris Resop walked Berry in the top of the eighth. Berry stole second, then came home when Delmon Young singled. The Pirates weren't able to score in the eighth or the ninth -- Andrew McCutchen hit a ball hard to lead off the ninth, but it died on the track. Verlander bumped up his velocity in the late innings and pitched a complete game, striking out seven. Oh, well. Two out of three ain't bad, especially since this didn't look like an easy series at all.

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