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Verlander makes last-minute adjustment in win

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 22, 2014 at 2:15 am •  Published: July 22, 2014
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PHOENIX (AP) — A last-minute change in his arm action had Justin Verlander feeling like old times.

All because of some pictures of himself that he looked at "literally 10 minutes" before he warmed up.

Verlander pitched into the seventh inning, Torii Hunter and Austin Jackson homered and the Detroit Tigers opened their interleague series in Arizona by beating the Diamondbacks 4-3 on Monday night.

Verlander said he "came across a couple of pictures," one from earlier in his career and one from this season. He was looking to see if he had changed his grip at all. Instead, he noticed a difference in his arm action and made an immediate adjustment when he warmed up in the bullpen.

"I went out and tried to throw the way that I used to throw," he said.

The results, Verlander said, were immediate and carried over into the game, when he held Arizona hitless through the first three innings. The right-hander improved to 24-2 in interleague games by winning his 13th consecutive decision against National League teams.

"It felt like I was able to throw the way I want," he said. "Really, the first time all year that I've been able to locate my fastball as well as I would like to."

Miguel Cabrera drove in the go-ahead run in the seventh inning with a booming single just below the home run line on the Chase Field porch in left-center.

Hunter had a two-run homer in the second, his fifth in the last 15 games. Jackson added a solo shot. Both were off starter Vidal Nuno (0-2).

"That is a tough lineup there," Nuno said. "If you leave balls up they can do some damage."

Verlander (9-8) allowed three runs and six hits in 6 2-3 innings to win for the third time in his last four starts. He struck out five to pass Hal Newhouser into third place on the Tigers' all-time list (1,772).

Joe Nathan pitched a scoreless ninth for his 20th save in 25 opportunities.

There seemed to be as many Tigers fans as there were for the Diamondbacks.

"It felt like I was pitching in Detroit," Nathan joked, "except there weren't as many boos."

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