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Associated Press
Detroit starter Justin Verlander is pulled by manager Jim Leyland in the ninth inning Wednesday.
American

Tigers ace can’t close out Rays

– For most of the game, Justin Verlander was calm and efficient, seemingly headed for another masterpiece.

In the ninth inning, he began reaching back for a little more speed – and that might have cost his team the game.

“Once a couple guys got on, really the first time I’ve cranked it up like that – and lost a little bit of my consistency that I’d had all day,” Verlander said. “It’s inexcusable. This loss rests solely on my shoulders today.”

Ben Zobrist hit a tiebreaking two-run single, part of a four-run ninth inning by Tampa Bay in its 4-2 win over Verlander and the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday. Verlander took a one-hitter into the ninth and hadn’t allowed a run all season, but he couldn’t close out the Rays.

Verlander (0-1) gave up a run on a wild pitch. Evan Longoria then tied it with a single on his 104th and final pitch.

Daniel Schlereth came on and allowed a walk to load the bases, and Zobrist singled up the middle off Jose Valverde.

The Tigers (4-1) lost for the first time this season.

BLUE JAYS 3, RED SOX 1: In Toronto, Ricky Romero outdueled Jon Lester, Yunel Escobar drove in two runs and Toronto dropped Boston to 1-5.

Other than a third inning that saw the teams combine for five hits and three runs, both left-handers were perfect until Lester (0-1) issued a two-out walk to Rajai Davis in the eighth, snapping a streak of 15 consecutive outs. Davis promptly stole second, beating the tag on a failed Red Sox pickoff play, then scored on Escobar’s single to center.

WHITE SOX 10, INDIANS 6: In Cleveland, A.J. Pierzynski hit a three-run homer and drove in four runs to lead Chicago.

Pierzynski connected off reliever Rafael Perez in Chicago’s five-run, sixth inning that included a two-run shot by Alejandro De Aza off Dan Wheeler. De Aza opened the game with a single and scored during Chicago’s four-run first against Justin Masterson (0-1).

Travis Hafner had a long solo homer and three RBI for Cleveland.

ATHLETICS 5, ROYALS 4, 12 inn.: In Oakland, Calif., Jonathan Broxton hit Jonny Gomes on the first pitch he threw with the bases loaded in the 12th inning, forcing Jemile Weeks home for Oakland’s winning run.

Moments earlier, Broxton (0-1) plunked Yoenis Cespedes on the first pitch to load the bases.

TWINS 6, ANGELS 5: In Minneapolis, Jamey Carroll had his first two hits with Minnesota, including the go-ahead single in the seventh, and Josh Willingham hit a two-run homer to lift the Twins to their first win of the season.

YANKEES 6, ORIOLES 4, 10 inn.: In Baltimore, Nick Swisher hit a two-run homer in the 10th, and New York got its second straight extra-inning win and a three-game sweep.

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