Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
The Detroit Tigers notched their second consecutive win tonight to start their series against the Seattle Mariners, by a score of 6-3. Justin Verlander(W, 6-4, 3.99) took the mound for the Tigers and looked more like the one time MVP and Cy Young winner than he has in his last three starts. His velocity was up, with his fast ball hitting 98mph in the sixth inning. Overall Verlander’s control and ability to hit his spots was worlds better than it has been, he threw 21 of 30 first pitches for strikes, and only issued one base on balls.
Justin gave up a lead off double to Kyle Seager to start the second, but was able to get out of the inning unscathed after some solid infield defense and a fielder’s choice that cut down Seager at the plate. Verlander wasn’t so lucky with Seager in his next at bat, giving up a two run home run with one out in the fourth to tie the game. When he followed the homer up by hitting Mike Zunino, things were starting to look a little shaky. Alex Avila bailed his pitcher out, though, as the inning ended with a textbook strike-em-out, throw-em-out double play. Verlander bounced back incredibly strong after the homer and was able to record a quality start along with the win. His line: 7.2IP, 5H, 3R/ER, 1BB, 7K.
Ian Krol and Joba Chamberlain closed the game out for the Tigers, with Krol collecting the final out of the eighth(though he did give up a hit that allowed his inherited runner to score) and Chamberlain allowed a base runner to reach on a walk, but did not allow him to score, getting the save.
The Tigers offense got hits early against Hisashi Iwakuma, but were unable to send a runner across home plate in the first two innings. Nick Castellanos doubled in the second, but was picked off in an attempt to steal third when a ball got away from Mariners catcher Mike Zunino. Castellanos appeared to get a good jump on the ball, but hesitated before taking off which made him a sitting duck.
The Tigers struck first though, as Torii Hunter singled with one out in the third inning and was plated moments later on a Miguel Cabrera home run. Victor Martinez continued his awesomeness, and reclaimed the lead for the Tigers with a three run homer in the top of the fifth. The homer came on the tenth pitch of the at bat, after Mariners’ manager and former Tigers’ hitting coach Lloyd McClendon opted to intentionally walk Miguel Cabrera. A Rajai Davis home run to lead off the seventh expanded the Tigers’ lead.