DETROIT (AP) — A season's worth of tinkering finally paid off for Justin Verlander.
For months, the Detroit right-hander insisted he was on the verge of finding the MVP form that had deserted him. Although that seemed like a false hope for a while, Verlander was at his best when the Tigers needed him most.
For a second straight season, Verlander delivered in Game 5 of the AL division series. He produced an eight-inning masterpiece Thursday night that eliminated Oakland and sent Detroit to its third straight AL championship series.
The Tigers next face the Red Sox, with the opener Saturday night in Boston.