By LARRY LAGE
AP Sports Writer
DETROIT (AP) — Justin Verlander gave up back-to-back home runs in his New York Mets debut and Eduardo Rodriguez threw eight scoreless innings as the Detroit Tigers completed a three-game sweep with a 2-0 win Thursday.
Riley Greene and Javier Baez hit solo homers off Verlander in the first inning and that was enough offense for Detroit.
Rodriguez (3-2) gave up just two hits and one walk while striking out nine. Alex Lange pitched the ninth for his fifth save.
Verlander (0-1) settled in after his rough start, showing signs of the form that led to him winning the Cy Young award last year for the third time and helping the Houston Astros win the World Series for a second time.
The 40-year-old right-hander gave up two runs on five hits and a walk while striking out five in his 79-pitch outing. He started the season on the injured list with a muscle strain in his upper back.
Jeff Brigham, Dominic Leone and Drew Smith combined to throw three innings of scoreless relief, but the slumping Mets could not take advantage of their good pitching.
New York has lost nine of its last 11 games.
Detroit has won three straight and is three games above .500 since starting the season 2-9.
The Tigers start a six-game road trip Friday night at St. Louis where Detroit LHP Matthew Boyd (1-2) and Cardinals LHP Jordan Montgomery (2-4) are the probable pitchers.
The Mets return home to face Colorado on Friday night when New York will hope RHP Kodai Senga (3-1) can snap its slump against Rockies RHP Antonio Senzatela (0-0).
AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports