Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
The Detroit Tigers sent spot starter rookie Drew VerHagen to the mound for the first game of today’s double header and he pitched well through four innings, but had issues in the fifth. Prior to that he gave up only one hit, and infield single in the first, before giving up four hits and three runs in the fifth inning. He did have a bit of trouble with control, as he gave up three walks, but he also struck out four. His final line: 5IP, 5H, 3R/ER, 3BB, 4K. All things told, the Tigers really couldn’t ask for more from the rookie in his Tigers debut.
Blaine Hardy took over in the sixth inning and retired Michael Brantley before giving up a walk to Carlos Santana and a single to Lonnie Chisenhall to put runners on the corners, but Nick Swisher grounded into a double play to end the inning. Hardy was back out to pitch the seventh, and started off rocky, giving up a single to Yan Gomes and walking David Murphy, he was pulled in favor of Phil Coke, who came in and gave up a one out single to Jason Kipnis to score Gomes and extend the Indians’ lead to 4-1. Coke then retired the next two to end the inning. Detroit sent Coke back to the mound to start the eighth and he retired Santana and gave up a single to Chisenhall before being pulled for recent call up Corey Knebel.
Bryan Holaday took out his second baserunner of the game from behind the plate, catching Chisenhall stealing for out number two. He also had a pick off of Michael Brantley, bringing his total of eliminated baserunners in the game to three. Knebel struck out the final batter to end the eighth and was back on the mound to pitch the ninth. Gomes led off with a double and scored after a wild pitch by Knebel and a single by David Murphy. Asdrubal Cabrera then singled to score Murphy, who stole second, and make the Indians lead 6-1.
The Tigers’ bats were stymied once again by Corey Kluber, they had runners on base in the first, third, and fourth innings but were unable to push a run across the plate. That changed in the fifth, when a lead off walk to Eugenio Suarez and a single by Bryan Holaday put two on with no one out, but Rajai Davis hit into a double play. Suarez, who moved to third on the DP, scored when Austin Jackson singled in the next at bat, but an Ian Kinsler line out to third ended the inning with only one run scoring.
The Tigers had nothing offensive to speak of again until the ninth inning when Miguel Cabrera led off with a double and advanced to third on a ground out by Victor Martinez. Cabrera scored on a ground out by J.D. Martinez, cutting the Indians lead to four with two outs. Nick Castellanos followed up with a double, but Suarez was unable to extend the rally, and the Tigers lost.