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Tigers' Justin Verlander gets ball for Game 5 against A's again

OAKLAND — It's Justin Verlander and Sonny Gray, the encore.

These decisive Game 5s sure are becoming familiar for Verlander. Not so much for the Oakland rookie.

Just like last October in Oakland, the Tigers have been pushed to a winner-take-all fifth game in their AL division series against the Athletics. And Detroit will have Verlander on the mound again Thursday night after he pitched a four-hit shutout in the 2012 clincher at the Oakland Coliseum.

"Well, you don't pretend. It's not just another game," Verlander said after the Tigers evened the series with an 8-6 win Tuesday at Comerica Park. "The season is on the line. It was on the line for us tonight, too. This whole season, the way we battled and played as a team, comes down to one game, may the best team win. You can't treat it just like another game. It's a little bit different. There is more to it."

The A's will counter with Gray against Verlander a second time after these two put on a pitching show Saturday night at the Coliseum.


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