The Detroit Tigers didn’t have two cornerstones of their franchise today as Miguel Cabrera received a rare day off and Justin Verlander was a scratch just about 12 hours before game time. The Tigers predictably stumbled on Wednesday afternoon, and will have to settle for taking two of three games from the rival Cleveland Indians.
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After Tuesday night’s victory it was announced that Verlander would miss what would have been his third start of the season with back tightness. They expect him to only miss this one start, but that meant that they needed a spot starter and that honor went to Buck Farmer, freshly up from AAA Toledo.
Meanwhile Brad Ausmus chose to rest Miggy despite hitting over .600 against Cleveland pitching this season. It turns out unless Cabrera would have accounted for six runs (which is always possible with him) it didn’t matter as the Tigers lost 8-2 behind shaky pitching and a listless offense.
Farmer worked out of a jam in the first inning when he walked two, but got out of it scoreless by stranding runners at second and third base. He settled into a groove for a short time, fanning five straight Cleveland batters before the Indians began to solve the youngster’s pitches.
The bullpen was also hit hard as Tom Gorzelanny came in and could not build on his solid performance from Tuesday night, allowing a single and two walks to push home a run on a free pass. Kyle Ryan, Blaine Hardy and Al Alburquerque all were ineffective.
Meanwhile Indians’ starter Carlos Carrasco allowed just one hit, to Andrew Romine who was filling in for Cabrera at first base, through the first five innings. Detroit briefly looked like it could climb back in the game when Yoenis Cespedes was driven home by a J.D. Martinez two-run blast to make it 5-2.
The Tigers finished their three-city, rain-shortened seven game road trip at 3-4 and now come home for a 10-game homestand.
First up are the last place Chicago White Sox for four games beginning on Thursday. Tomorrow’s game is also a day game, starting at 1:08 from Comerica Park. Alfredo Simon will look to bounce back for the Tigers while facing off against Carlos Rodon for the Sox.