He's not worried. His manager's not worried. His teammates are not worried.

But nobody makes Tigers fans more worried right now than Jose Valverde.

They're far less concerned about Austin Jackson's ailing hamstring than they are about the closer.

Valverde came into the ninth inning of Friday night's game with a 7-3 lead and immediately gave up a leadoff home run to Cleveland Indians DH Jason Giambi.

That really wouldn't be a problem if that was the extent of the damage.

But after striking out Mike Aviles, Valverde gave up another home run to Drew Stubbs. Both home runs came on his famous splitters.

In his last three games, Valverde has allowed four home runs.

"Well, they were two split-fingers, and they just golfed them," manager Jim Leyland said. "That happens. But the key to that was that he didn’t walk anybody. I’m happy with that."

Valverde got Michael Bourn to fly out, gave up a single to Jason Kipnis and then finally got out of it by inducing a game-ending grounder by Nick Swisher for a 7-5 victory.

"I think it went just how I wanted it go, you know what I mean?" Valverde said. "I don't think I threw a bad pitch. It's nothing you can do. You have to credit the hitters. It was the pitch I wanted."

Starter Justin Verlander said you have to take the situation into account.

"Closers have a different mentality," Verlander said. "A lot of times you see them go out there in non-save situations and get hit around a little bit, but when push comes to shove, they get it done. It's just a different situation for those guys with the game not, per se, being on the line. You get your bell rung a little bit and you come right back and make some quality pitches, which he was able to do, and close the door."

The Tigers' and Verlander's fourth straight victory and increasing their Central Division lead over the Indians to 3 1/2 games certainly are positive things.

But at this point, you have to wonder if you can trust Valverde with a one-run lead heading into the ninth.

On Thursday, Valverde looked like his 2011, 49-for-49 self, throwing a 1-2-3 ninth against the Tampa Bay Rays for his seventh save of the season.