Verlander Pitches More Like Himself, But It’s Not Enough As Royals Hold For 4-3 Win

Verlander was good, but it wasn't enough.

Verlander was good, but it wasn’t enough.

The story of this game was missed opportunities, as the Tigers had their chances to blow the game open in the first and fifth innings and managed to score only two runs. Justin Verlander pitched well enough and gave the Tigers a chance, undone by a 2-run Salvador Perez homer that proved to be the difference. Verlander went seven, giving up four runs on eight hits and one walk, to go with seven strikeouts. Verlander might take a hit in the W/L column, but he really did seem more like his old self, throwing lively upper 90s fastballs and utilizing his curveball. Though he didn’t have many 1-2-3 innings, he didn’t seem to labor too much before getting into a bit of trouble in the fifth inning. A walk to Jarrod Dyson set up the eventual winning 2-run homer from Perez. The Tigers managed to cut the Royals’ lead down to one run with an RBI single from Miguel Cabrera in the seventh, but they would come no closer as the Royals’ bullpen clamped down on the Tigers the rest of the way to hold on for the 4-3 victory.

Rookie Nick Castellanos was one of the Tigers’ bright spots, as he collected his first career MLB base hit in the top of the fifth on what probably should have been an error. Castellanos eventually came around to score when Wade Davis, in relief of starter Danny Duffy, walked Cabrera with the bases loaded. The Tigers squandered the bases loaded situation, though, and had to settle for just one run. The missed opportunities would come back to haunt them later in the game.

Duffy was ineffective and wild in his 4.1 IP start, walking 5 batters while only striking out one. He only gave up two hits, but the walks were what hurt him. Luckily for the Royals, the bullpen did the job, pitching 4.2 IP, allowing one run on 3 hits and one walk, with five strikeouts. Greg Holland nailed down the ninth for Kansas City with a flawless inning of work.

The Tigers fall to 82-60, and the lead in the division is down to 5.5 games, as Cleveland beat the Mets tonight. Doug Fister (12-7, 3.66 ERA) starts tomorrow at 2:10pm for the Tigers, while Bruce Chen (6-2, 2.81 ERA), notorious “Tiger killer,” goes for the Royals.

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