Meatloaf said it best: “two out of three ain’t bad.”

Well, in the case of Rick Porcello and the Detroit Tigers, one out of three isn’t too shabby either.

Porcello pitched steadily Sunday, and helped his club avoid being swept by the defending National League West champion Los Angeles Dodgers with its 6-2 win.

The Tigers’ sophomore hurler threw 101 pitches (64 strikes) in six innings and recorded two strikeouts.

He scattered nine hits, but the Dodgers’ offense was unable to capitalize with runners on.

The second-year star in the making earned his fourth win of the season, and exhibited that the front-end of Detroit’s rotation is becoming solid and reliable.

The bats of Magglio Ordonez and Miguel Cabrera are alive and well.

And that’s a great sign for the Motor City faithful. 

Cabrera homered in the first inning, his 10th of the year, which plated Ordonez.

Ordonez followed suit in the eighth inning with a solo-shot, his sixth home run thus far.

The Tigers are 25-19, just one game back of Minnesota in the A.L. Central.

If there were a checklist for success that one would draft to measure the Tigers’ worth, it might look something like this.

1. Solid pitching. Of course, that’s were any club’s momentum stems from. A team is only as consistent as its guys on the mound.

Justin Verlander and Porcello have the potential to be one of the American League’s top one-two tandems. That will be a load that Porcello will shoulder, but the possibility is there.

Porcello lacks the blazing arsenal possessed by Verlander, and he has lost two of his last three decisions.

But the focus should be on what he’s capable of. In 2009, he was considered one of the American League’s elite rookie pitchers.

Verlander, who can keep his velocity and control into late innings, has dazzled in the first quarter of the 2010 campaign.

A solid bullpen is also an advantage. And the Tigers have one. Although it’s overworked at times, Phil Coke, Eddie Bonine, and Ryan Perry get the job done.

And there’s always Papa Grande, Detroit’s exuberant closer Jose Valverde, who has 11 saves.

The cream always rises to the top, and that’s what he’s done—in impressive fashion at that.

Valverde’s celebrations are a reminder that the era of passionate players is far from dead.

2. Lead-off men. Austin Jackson and Johnny Damon know how to get on base. Although Jackson has hit in the No. 1 spot for the majority of the season, Damon is another viable option.

In his career, he has a .289 batting average when leading off.

He quickly became a fan favorite with his walk-off dinger in Detroit’s 3-2 triumph over the Angels on May 1. He proved that there is a little life left in that aging arm of his with his bullet of a throw that kept Hideki Matsui honest the same day.

3. The heart of the order. Well, that one is easy. Cabrera, Ordonez and Brennan Boesch are a pitcher’s nightmare. Boesch is one of Jim Leyland’s up-and-comers, and has displayed his big-league worthiness since coming up April 23.

4. Young talent. Does the name Jackson ring a bell? He’s easily the front runner for AL Rookie of the Year. He set a Tiger record for most hits in first 100 at-bats with 37. His pace has shown no signs of slowing down.

Room for improvement: This one is like beating a dead horse.

Catchers Alex Avila and Gerald Laird need to show resolve at the plate. The same can be said for third baseman Brandon Inge, who has just 10 hits this month, and five since May 10.

Read more MLB news on