Tigers have ace Verlander set for opener vs Texas

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ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Justin Verlander is back on his normal routine. No more watching for the Detroit Tigers ace, who starts the AL championship series opener.

The AL division series clincher for Verlander was much "like being a fan." Jim Leyland said his 24-game winner wasn't pitching in Game 5 Thursday night against the New York Yankees. The manager stuck by that, even though he joked with Verlander during the game about doing so.

Now Verlander goes in Game 1 of the ALCS on Saturday night at the defending AL champion Texas Rangers, who counter with C.J. Wilson.

Verlander is pitching on regular rest, on the fifth day after his Game 3 start in the ALDS, that a restart of sorts since rain halted the series opener of aces after only 112 innings.