8:32 p.m. EDT: Melky Cabrera broke up the bid with two outs in the sixth. After Alcides Escobar walked with one out, Chris Getz hit a grounder that likely would have been an inning-ending double-play ball, except for that Escobar was off with the pitch.
Verlander then left a changeup up to Cabrera, who pounded into the gap to score Escobar. It broke up an 0-for-49 string for the league against the right-hander.
9:35 p.m. EDT: Verlander ended up allowing two hits over eight innings in a 3-1 victory. Jose Valverde cleaned up in the ninth. Verlander struck out seven in a 105-pitch outing. He improved to 4-3 with a 2.91 ERA.
Justin Verlander, bidding to become just the second pitcher ever to throw back-to-back no-hitters, is through five hitless in his start against the Royals.
Verlander has struck out three and walked one. He’s thrown 61 pitches with the Tigers up 3-0 and retired 12 straight after walking Billy Butler to begin the second inning.
Update (12:58 AM ET): Per Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, Samardzija has been diagnosed with a strained pectoral muscle. He’ll be shut down for a week. That’s good news for the Giants, considering the alternatives.
Giants starter Jeff Samardzija will undergo an MRI on his ailing right shoulder, according to NBC Sports Bay Area. The right-hander struggled in a minor league game on Wednesday, surrendering a pair of home runs and hitting a batter. Overall this spring, Samardzija has given up 15 runs (13 earned) on 17 hits (six homers) and seven walks with seven strikeouts in 11 innings.
This may mean Samardzija won’t be ready for the start of the regular season. Derek Holland would likely replace Samardzija in the rotation. Holland had been competing for the No. 5 spot in the Giants’ rotation.
Samardzija led the National League in losses last season with 15, also posting a 4.42 ERA with a 205/32 K/BB ratio in a league-high 207 2/3 innings. Since becoming a starter, Samardzija has been able to avoid injury, making 32 or 33 starts in each of the last five seasons.