Originally written on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 11/10/14
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DETROIT -- Must win? Sure, when Justin Verlander pitches for the Detroit Tigers. "You have to win when Justin in on the mound," catcher Alex Avila said Saturday night after Detroit did indeed win the first game of its best-of-five divisional American League Division Series from the Oakland A's, 3-1. "But they're all 'must win.' It's going to definitely be tough going against them at their place." Verlander was a little wobbly in the first three innings but still turned in an impressive performance. He allowed a leadoff home run to Coco Crisp, then just two hits thereafter. His pitch count was at 61 after three innings, yet he lasted through seven while throwing 121. Two of his four walks came in the first two innings, but of his 11 strikeouts, five straight came in the sixth and seventh. "I think most good starters, you try to get to them before they get into their rhythm," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. "He certainly got better as the game went on. His velocity pi...
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