Verlander leaves game early with groin injury

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Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander left Sunday’s start against the Chicago White Sox in the third inning with tightness in his right groin.

Detroit announced the move was made as a precaution.

Verlander struggled through 72 pitches over two-plus innings. He struck out Tim Anderson with the bases loaded to end the first inning after allowing one run, then left the bases full when he fanned Avisail Garcia to end a scoreless second.

Verlander was checked by head athletic trainer Kevin Rand in the second and again in the third after Todd Frazier led off with a home run and Yolmer Sanchez walked on four pitches. Warwick Saupold relieved with Chicago leading 2-0.

It was Verlander’s shortest start since he only went one inning against Pittsburgh on Aug. 11, 2014, and the fourth of his big league career in which he did not get an out in the third.

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