Alvarez, who has only pitched into the eighth inning once this season, has faced two batters over the minimum. He plunked Prince Fielder with a 64-mph curveball in the first inning, and Jose Iglesias reached on an error in the top of the fifth inning. Through seven innings, he's thrown 75 pitches.
Alvarez has kept his pitch count relatively low through seven innings because he has only struck out two batters, thus making his no-hit bid all the more unlikely (and one of his strikeouts was of Justin Verlander). Such a performance is not rare for Alvarez; his 5.09 strikeout-per-nine innings rate would be the third-lowest among all starters in baseball if he had thrown enough innings to qualify for the leaderboard. Entering play Sunday, he has thrown 93 2/3 innings in 16 starts. A right shoulder injury prevented him from making his season debut until July 4.
Alvarez is scheduled to face Brayan Pena, Iglesias and Ramon Santiago in the top of the eighth. Fielder was lifted in the fourth inning after two plate appearances, and most of the Tigers' big-name players -- Miguel Cabrera, Austin Jackson, Victor Martinez and Torii Hunter -- all got days off Sunday.