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Justin Verlander exits game with groin tightness

Chicago White Sox v Detroit Tigers

DETROIT, MI - JUNE 4: Justin Verlander #35 of the Detroit Tigers pitches against the Chicago White Sox during the second inning at Comerica Park on June 4, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)

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Justin Verlander was removed from his start on Sunday due to right groin tightness, the team announced. The move was precautionary, though Verlander appeared to be in some discomfort while pitching and was visited by club trainer Kevin Rand twice before leaving the game in the third inning. He completed two innings before departing in the third, issuing two runs, six hits and striking out three of 15 batters.

Verlander, 34, was coming off of a strong start against the Royals last Tuesday, during which he fired seven innings of one-run ball in the Tigers’ 1-0 loss. The rest of his season hasn’t gone quite as smoothly -- entering Sunday, he carried a 4.50 ERA through 68 innings after a pair of rough outings last month.

While it didn’t look like the right-hander was dealing with anything serious, the Tigers won’t take any chances with their ace. Fellow righty Warwick Saupold replaced Verlander on Sunday afternoon, going four innings with two hits and four strikeouts. The Tigers currently lead the White Sox 4-2 after six.

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