Justin Verlander goes five innings in his 2015 season debut

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Tigers starter Justin Verlander made his 2015 season debut for the Tigers on Saturday, pitching five effective innings against the Indians in a 5-4 loss. The right-hander allowed two runs on three hits and two walks while striking out two. One of the runs came in the fourth on Carlos Santana’s solo home run, and the other came in the fifth on a Jason Kipnis sacrifice fly.

Verlander threw 87 pitches overall, 55 for strikes. He sat mostly 92-94 MPH with his fastball, but was able to ramp it up to 97 MPH even in his final inning.

Verlander, 32, was shelved late in spring training due to a strained right triceps, forcing him to go onto the disabled list for the first time in his 11-year career. He struggled last season, finishing with an ugly 4.54 ERA and a 159/65 K/BB ratio over 206 innings.