Detroit’s Justin Verlander has not suffered a loss since July 15 against the Chicago White Sox, but he trails the Orioles tonight 5-0 in the third inning.
Verlander, who is 24-5 with an ERA of 2.29, gave up a homer to Matt Angle leading off the game. It was Angle’s first major league homer after 69 at-bats without one. He hit four homers in 424 at-bats this year at Triple-A Norfolk.
The Orioles added three runs off Verlander in the second on a J.J. Hardy two-run single and a Nick Markakis RBI single.
Mark Reynolds just hit a solo homer in the top of the third. That is his 37th on the year and his fifth homer in his last seven games.
Verlander is the heavy favorite to win the AL Cy Young award and considered an MVP contender as well. He is closing in on the so-called pitching “Triple Crown” leading the league in wins, ERA and strikeouts.
He is 12-0 over his last 12 decisions and posted his 20th win this year on August 27th. The last pitcher to record 20 wins before the end of August was Curt Shilling on Arizona in 2002.
Verlander is 12-1 with an ERA of 2.52 in 13 starts since the All-Star game and the Tigers are 25-8 in his starts this year, but early on the O’s have the lead behind Jeremy Guthrie.
With a win tonight, Verlander would become major league baseball’s first 25-game winner since Oakland’s Bob Welch won 27 games in 1990.
Verlander had allowed one earned run or less 17 times this year and recorded a quality start 28 times, but he won’t add to either total tonight.