Justin Verlander was impressive in his 5 innings on a chilly opening day at a sold out Target Field. Verlander threw 91 pitches and struck out seven while battling the 30 degree temperatures. The Detroit Tigers staked their ace to an early 3-0 lead. The offense looked great showed patience working the count and putting the lead-off runner on in each of the first 4 innings. Four Detroit Tigers had 2 hits including Torii Hunter, Prince Fielder, Jhonny Peralta and Omar Infante.
The offense looked as if they were headed toward double digits but after Omar Infante drove in Jhonny Peralta in for the Detroit Tigers 3rd run in the second Minnesota Twins ace settled down. Former Philly Vance Worley spread 3 runs over 6 innings in a solid Minnesota Twins debut.
Justin Verlander was cruising through the game until Jim Leyland went to the pen in the sixth bringing in Drew Symly. That is when things got interesting as Symly loaded the bases with two outs. He then threw a wild pitch, leading to the Twins first run. Symly got out of the inning on a bang-bang play at 1st base when Peralta threw out Pedro Florimon.
Joe Mauer’s hot preseason carried over reaching base 4 times. He did that very thing in the bottom of the seventh inning by lacing a one-out single setting up another Twins rally against Drew Symly who struggled with his control. After giving up another single to Josh Willingham and walking Justin Morneau to load the bases, the skipper had enough and brought the hook in favor of Al Alburerque. On Alburqerque’s first pitch DH Ryan Doumit hit a single to drive in the Twins second run. “Slider Man” (heard it here first) then struck out Trevor Plouffe and Chris Parmalee to stop the Twins rally cold.
The Detroit Tigers were not done either. They put the lead-off hitter on base again on Prince Fielder’s single. That led to the Tigers loading the bases chasing Casey Fein from the game in favor of Josh Roenicke. With two out and Omar Infante at the plate Josh Roenicke threw a wild ptich scoring Prince Fielder from 3B putting the boys from MoTown up 4-2. That is all the Tigers would need as the closer de jour Phil Coke entered the game to record the final two outs.
Catch game 2 of the series at Target Field in Minnesota on Fox Sports Detroit. Coverage starts at 3:00 pm EST.