Justin Verlander perfect through five innings in Game 5 of ALDS against Athletics

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Justin Verlander threw a shutout in Game 5 of the ALDS against the Athletics last year to lead the Tigers to the ALCS. He’s dominating Oakland again in tonight’s do-or-die contest.

Verlander has yet to allow a baserunner over his first five innings so far. He has been completely locked in, striking out six batters while throwing 45 out of 66 pitches for strikes. Miguel Cabrera’s two-run homer in the fourth inning has been the only offense of the game so far for the Tigers, but two runs might be enough for Verlander tonight.

It’s 2-0 Tigers as we move to the top of the sixth inning at O.co Coliseum.

Will Middlebrooks carted off field with injury

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Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.

Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.

The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.