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Originally published August 12, 2014 at 8:21 PM | Page modified August 12, 2014 at 8:27 PM

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Justin Verlander has no major structual shoulder damage, but likely to miss one start

Detroit’s ace has shoulder inflammation and could be sidelined for Sunday’s scheduled start against Mariners.

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Justin Verlander’s sore right shoulder will likely force him to miss at least one start, the latest setback for the reeling Detroit Tigers.

Detroit manager Brad Ausmus is thrilled, however, the news isn’t worse. Ausmus said an MRI on Verlander’s shoulder Tuesday revealed inflammation “in a number of different areas” but no major structural damage.

“It’s not a surgical injury and as of right now it doesn’t seem like he’ll have to go on the DL,” Ausmus said.

Verlander left Monday night’s 11-6 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates after laboring through a first inning in which he surrendered five runs. He complained of discomfort in the shoulder afterward and added he “didn’t feel great.” While the initial prognosis is encouraging, he’ll almost certainly won’t pitch for 10 days.

Still, Ausmus remains encouraged simply because the prognosis could have been so much worse.

“It was definitely good news,” Ausmus said. “Any time you’re talking about a pitcher and his arm, it’s a very fragile area to be talking about. It was certainly a ray of light in a stormy sky.”

Ausmus said it’s “unlikely” Verlander would make his next start on Sunday against the Seattle Mariners. Rookie Robbie Ray, the scheduled starter for Tuesday night’s game in Pittsburgh, would fill in on Sunday if Verlander can’t go.

Notes

• Baltimore third baseman Manny Machado has a right knee ligament strain — welcome news for a team contending for a berth in the AL playoffs.

The injury could land Machado on the 15-day disabled list, but it’s not as serious as it looked Monday night, when the third baseman crumpled in a heap at the plate after taking an awkward swing in a game against the New York Yankees.

Machado had to be helped off the field and had a pair of crutches resting against his locker when he talked to reporters.

The Orioles spent much of Tuesday waiting out a steady rain and awaiting the results of Machado’s MRI. The game with the Yankees will made up Sept. 12 as part of a split-admission doubleheader.

• The injuries keep piling up for the Cleveland Indians. While outfielder David Murphy will miss four to five weeks with a strained right oblique muscle, designated hitter Nick Swisher is seeking a second opinion on his sore right knee.

Matt Cain’s right elbow surgery went well, San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. The projected timetable for the pitcher’s recovery remains at three months, which would put him on track for spring training.

Bochy knows that the bone chips came out — because he saw them himself. A jar full of the rattling debris made its way into the Giants clubhouse.

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