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Justin Verlander Shines As Detroit Tigers Blank Baltimore Orioles 4-0

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Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers throws to the Baltimore Orioles during the seventh innning of the team's 4-0 victory on July 15, 2012 (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky).
Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers throws to the Baltimore Orioles during the seventh innning of the team's 4-0 victory on July 15, 2012 (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky).

BALTIMORE -- Justin Verlander returned to form after his uncharacteristic start in the All-Star game, allowing three hits in eight innings Sunday to carry the Detroit Tigers over the Baltimore Orioles 4-0.

Verlander (10-5) struck out eight and walked two in his first appearance since yielding five runs in one inning for the AL in an 8-0 loss Tuesday night. The reigning Cy Young Award winner retired 16 of the last 17 batters he faced before leaving after 117 pitches.

It was his 117th win for Detroit, tied with Denny McLain for 13th on the team career list. The right-hander is 7-0 in 10 lifetime starts against the Orioles, including 5-0 at Camden Yards.

Jose Valverde worked the ninth to complete the four-hitter.

Austin Jackson and Miguel Cabrera homered for the Tigers, who took two of three from the Orioles. Detroit has won seven of eight overall.

Making his second start and appearance in the majors, Baltimore's Miguel Gonzalez (1-1) gave up three runs, six hits and five walks over 5 2-3 innings. In his first start, the right-hander allowed just one run in seven innings against the Los Angeles Angels. In this one, the rookie fell behind 1-0 after throwing two pitches.

Jim Thome had three hits for the Orioles, who have lost 10 of 14. Second baseman Robert Andino left in the sixth inning after hurting his left shoulder diving for a single.

Baltimore was under three runs for the 14th time in 25 games. Wilson Betemit struck out three times and J.J. Hardy failed to hit the ball out of the infield in four at-bats to extend his hitting slump to 4 for 55 (.073).

Jackson opened the game with a drive into the center-field seats, his third leadoff homer of the season and seventh of his career. He also extended his run-scoring streak to 12 games, most by a Detroit player since Rocky Colavito scored in 12 straight in 1961.

The Tigers added a second-inning run when Brennan Boesch doubled and scored on a single by Jhonny Peralta.

Detroit made it 3-0 in the sixth. Prince Fielder walked, took second on a single by Boesch and scored on a single by Alex Avila.

Orioles right-hander Steve Johnson, the son of former Baltimore pitcher Dave Johnson, made his major league debut in the eighth. He escaped that inning after walking the first two batters before giving up Cabrera's 20th home run in the ninth.

NOTES: Orioles RHP Jason Hammel will undergo surgery on his right knee to remove loose cartilage. He is expected to miss at least a month. He was placed on the 15-day DL and replaced on the roster by Johnson, who was recalled from Triple-A Norfolk. ... Detroit's Jim Leyland managed in his 3,264th game, 15th-most in major league history. He says few were more thrilling than Saturday's 13-inning tilt. "I'll put that one down as one of the better games I've been involved in as far as excitement," he said Sunday morning. ... Baltimore's Mark Reynolds ended a 0-for-17 drought with a seventh-inning single.

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