Detroit Tigers Lose 10-5 as Verlander is Shelled


Jul 5, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander (35) looks on from the dugout prior to the game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Tigers failed to sweep the Toronto Blue Jays as they dropped their series finale 10-5.The Tigers ended their home-stand 4-5 after taking 2 of 3 from the Jays and White Sox, but getting swept by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Justin Verlander got the start for the Tigers today, and it was puzzling to say the least. He gave up a run in the first on a bloop and a ground ball, pitched superbly through the fourth, then imploded in the 5th for a final line of 5.0 IP, 7 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 2 BB, 5 K.

Even though Verlander was bad, this game was still very winnable, as the Tigers left key runners on base and allowed precious add on runs in the 7th.

The Blue Jays got the game started quickly in the top of the first. Jose Reyes hit a bloop double between Jose Iglesias and Yoenis Cespedes in left field to lead off the game. Josh Donaldson then hit a ground ball up the middle bringing Reyes home, giving the Jays the 1-0 lead. Verlander then overthrew Avila on a pickoff throw, allowing Donaldson to get to third with one out. Verlander then got Edwin Encarnacion and Justin Smoak to pop out to keep the game at 1-0.

The Jays blew this game open in the top of the fifth. Danny Valencia walked to lead off the inning after being down in the count 0-2. Kevin Pillar then hit a single to left field. Devon Travis then hit a 1-2 pitch for a double to right-center field to bring home Valencia to extend the lead to 2-0. Jose Reyes then grounded out to bring home Pillar. Donaldson then singled to left to bring home Travis and extend the lead to 4-0.

Verlander then fully imploded. Jose Bautista hit one of the quickest home runs I’ve ever seen, a two run homer to left field to extend the lead to 6-0. Verlander then surrendered a home run to Justin Smoak to right field to end the damage at 7-0. All but one of the hits in the inning were off of Verlander’s fastball. He was trying to overpower the Jays batters (who thrive on fastballs), and failed. He looked stellar with the breaking stuff all day, but fell back on the fastball like it was 2011, but did not have 100 in his back pocket.

The Tigers looked to have something going in the bottom of the 5th, but as quickly as it started, it ended. James McCann led the inning off with a walk and Jose Iglesias hit a one out single to right field. Both came home on an Ian Kinsler triple up the right-center gap to cut the lead to 7-2, but Kinsler was stranded at third after a groundout to third by Cespedes and a check-swing groundout to the pitcher from Victor Martinez.

The Tigers once again cut into the lead in the 6th, but killed their own rally once again. J.D. Martinez hit another home run to lead off the inning to cut the deficit to 7-3. Alex Avila then hit a single to right field, but was erased on a double play from Nick Castellanos. The Tigers leaving Kinsler on third loomed even larger, as the game could have been 7-4 or 7-5 at that point instead of 7-3.

The Blue Jays got two runs back in the top half of the 7th. Drew VerHagen issued three consecutive walks to start the inning before being pulled. Alex Wilson then came on in relief and had his second consecutive rocky outing. He allowed base hits to Russel Martin and Devon Travis allowing two runs to score, extending the lead to 9-3.

Anthony Gose closed the gap in the bottom of the 7th by leading the inning of the inning with a line drive home run getting the game to 9-4. The Tigers scored another run in the 8th with hits from J.D. Martinez, Castllanos, and McCann, but could not add any more runs.

The Jays capped off their scoring in the 9th with a double from Valencia, a single from Pillar, and a sacrifice fly from Devon Travis off of Jeff Ferrell.

The Tigers will now travel to Seattle to start their final road trip before the all-star break. The Tigers will take on the Seattle Mariners for 3 games and 4 games against the Minnesota Twins before the break. Alfredo Simon (7-5, 3.94 ERA) will try to get back on track against the Mariners as Hisashi Iwakuma (0-1, 6.61 ERA) takes the mound for Seattle for the first time since April 20 in their series opener Monday at 10:10.