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.
The Nationals made a handful of roster decisions on Tuesday, Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post reports. Pitcher Wander Suero was optioned to Triple-A Syracuse and 1B/OF Matt Adams was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a fractured left index finger. With the two open roster spots, the Nationals recalled pitcher Jefry Rodriguez from Syracuse to start against the Orioles and added recently-acquired reliever Kelvin Herrera to the roster.
Adams, 29, was hit on the hand attempting to lay down a bunt on Friday. He has been quite productive for the Nationals this year, batting .275/.351/.575 with 13 home runs and 36 RBI in 171 plate appearances.
Adams was splitting time at first base with Mark Reynolds. Daniel Murphy drew starts at first base over the weekend, so it could be a Reynolds/Murphy split there now with Wilmer Difo remaining at second base.
In his major league debut on June 3, the 24-year-old Rodriguez pitched 4 2/3 scoreless innings in relief of Jeremy Hellickson, who lasted just one-third of an inning. Tuesday’s start will be his first at the big league level. At Double-A Harrisburg this season, Rodriguez posted a 3.31 ERA with a 72/28 K/BB ratio in 68 innings.