Even with a rested bullpen available, Detroit manager Jim Leyland didn’t hesitate letting Justin Verlander pitch the ninth inning.
The way Leyland saw it, there was no other option.
Verlander pitched a four-hitter to win his fourth straight start, late lineup addition Casper Wells drove in two runs and the Tigers beat the Oakland Athletics 5-1 on Wednesday night, spoiling Dallas Braden’s first appearance at home since throwing the majors first perfect game this season.
“He deserved to be out there in the ninth inning because I thought he was our best choice there, he was still sharp,” Leyland explained of his decision to leave closer Jose Valverde in the bullpen. “If he got in any trouble at all we had Valverde ready to go but he was able to close this one down.”