In Justin Verlander’s return, the former MVP was better than many expected for the Detroit Tigers. Friday night, however, against the New York Yankees, the 32-year old experienced a reversal of fortune.
From the outset, it was apparent that Verlander was not as dialed in as he had been in his previous start against Cleveland, after an Alex Rodriguez home-run (his 3,000th hit), gave New York an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first.
Detroit did counter on offense, when Bryan Holaday dropped a single into left to score two, and gave the Tigers the lead in the top of the second, but that would not last long. A rare home-run from Didi Gregorious tied the ballgame in the very next frame, and then Brett Gardner put the Yankees ahead for good with a two-run home-run three innings later.
New York would add on a few runs in the seventh and the eighth, but four looked to be enough against a Tigers offense that has been anemic of late.
Verlander’s final line, meanwhile, ended up being somewhat unsightly as he was credited with six earned runs on 10 hits, while allowing three home-runs, and striking out just two.
Despite another disappointing night for Tigers fans, they did receive positive news in the form of Victor Martinez’s return to the lineup. The AL MVP runner-up went 1-4 in his first game back from a stint on the 15-day disabled list, and scored one of Detroit’s two runs. If the Tigers have any real chance at overtaking the Twins, and Royals, Martinez will have to play a large part in reviving the offense.
Along with the rest of his counterparts, Martinez will attempt to return to form against Nate Eovaldi and the Yankees at 7:15 tomorrow night. Alfredo Simon will pitch for the Tigers and the game will be broadcast on Fox-Sports Detroit as well as MLB Network and 97.1 The Ticket.