A first since 2008: Justin Verlander loses three straight

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Behind a sterling effort from Phil Hughes, the Yankees took down Justin Verlander and the Tigers 5-1 on Sunday, sending Detroit’s ace to his third straight loss.

Verlander, the AL Cy Young Award winner and MVP last year, was charged with all five runs in his 6 1/3 innings of work, though only three were earned. He gave up nine hits, two of them homers, and walked four in the contest.

It’s the first time since 2008 that Verlander has lost three straight. In fact, when Verlander lost to the Red Sox on Tuesday, it marked just the third time since the beginning of the 2009 season that he had suffered a two-game losing streak.

Verlander was very good in the first start of the losing streak, when he dropped a 2-1 game to the Indians, but he’s now given up five runs in back-to-back starts. His ERA stands at 2.67, which is the highest he’s finished an outing at since last June 9.

Hughes, on the other hand, turned in one of the best efforts of his career, throwing just his second complete game in 82 starts. He allowed four hits, walked three and struck out eight in earning his fifth win today.

Giants sign Austin Jackson to two-year, $6 million contract

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The Giants announced on Monday night the signing of outfielder Austin Jackson. According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, it’s a two-year, $6 million deal with performance incentives that allow Jackson to earn up to an additional $2.5 million for a total of $8.5 million.

Jackson, who soon turns 31 years old, spent last season with the Indians. In 318 plate appearances, he hit .318/.387/.482 with seven home runs, 35 RBI, and 46 runs scored.

The Giants have been on the hunt for a center fielder and Jackson addresses that need relatively cheaply. Jackson will join Hunter Pence and newcomer Andrew McCutchen in the outfield.