Dirks Has Rough Day, But Keeps Streak Going

–LF Andy Dirks ran his hitting streak to eight games Sunday with a single to center in the first inning. While Dirks has prospered since moving into the second spot in the batting order, a wart has appeared. Twice against Oakland he came up with a runner on third and less than two outs, striking out both times. He also popped out with the bases loaded and two outs, in the second.

–RHP Justin Verlander, facing an Oakland lineup featuring five players with sub-.200 batting averages, retired the first 11 batters he faced Sunday before giving up a bloop single to center and allowed just two hits in his seven innings. “Verlander was good,” manager Jim Leyland said. “He had a callous on the right side of the thumb and that’s why we took him out after seven innings. It broke open and started bleeding a little bit so that’s why we got him out of there. I don’t think it’s much of (a concern).

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