Detroit Tigers lose Justin Verlander in rain shortened loss
By Matt Pelc
Rain outs usually happen often in Spring Training, but the Detroit Tigers have not experienced one yet–they still haven’t (technically) but it would have probably been better for everyone in the Olde English D if this game with the Toronto Blue Jays had been cancelled.
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Despite threatening skies before the game, it went ahead and Justin Verlander left early with a scary injury–that turned into nothing very consequential as the Blue Jays dropped the Tigers 4-1 in five innings.
Per MCB’s co-editor Dave Holcomb, Verlander left because of a cramp in his right triceps muscle, but he was seen running after leaving with two outs in the fourth and seemed fine. After further consultation he appears to be just fine and will most likely make his final start of Spring Training the next turn through the rotation.
Verlander threw 53 pitches and looked fairly sharp aside from a mistake thrown to Dalton Pompey for a long solo homer in the third inning.
For his part, Justin was happy with his performance, as he told Chris Iott and the media:
"“I do leave today feeling like that’s where I want to be,” Verlander said. “But obviously there’s a little bit lingering in the back of your head just hoping that doesn’t reoccur. Obviously, I’m going to take precautions.”"
The Tigers tallied their lone run on the abbreviated afternoon when former Blue Jay Anthony Gose sacrificed in Hernan Perez with a bunt in the third inning.
Toronto’s other three runs also came via the long ball with Jose Bautista hitting a solo shot in the fourth inning off Kyle Ryan, in relief of Verlander, and Justin Smoak hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the fifth, shortly before the rains set in.
The game was called about a half hour later.
Andrew Romine had two hits for the Tigers to increase his spring batting mark to .190 (cough). Perez and Gose were the only other Tigers’ batters to notch a hit. Miguel Cabrera had a scheduled day off today.
Victor Martinez was originally slated to play today but was a morning scratch by manager Brad Ausmus. V-Mart stayed back in Lakeland and will likely play tomorrow when the Tigers host the St. Louis Cardinals. Shane Greene will pitch for Detroit with first pitch set for 1:05 PM.