Justin Verlander had a solid outing, going 8 innings and throwing 119 pitches. This appearance marks the first time Verlander has pitched into the 8th this season. Verlander didn’t have great command walking 4 batters but managed to strike-out four Tampa Bay Rays. His command might have been shaky but Verlander’s veloctiy has returned along with the bite on his curveball.
Verlander’s 3 runs over 8 innings was a solid start in any book but the offense went into one of its characteristic slumbers. The Detroit Tigers scored three on Tampa Bay Rays starter Chris Archer in the top of the second inning but were shut –out the rest of the way. Eventually they lost to the Tampa Bay Rays 4-3.
Bruce Rondon entered in the 10th inning and although he pitched well, the Tampa Bay Rays did what they have done to many other teams, find a way to win. With runners on second and third and two-out, Yunel Escobar hit a line drive over the head of Austin Jackson for a walk-off hit, the fifth of his career.
The loss wastes a solid start by Justin Verlander and allows the Cleveland Indians to inch closer in the American League Central standings. The Tigers now only have a one game lead over the Indians going into tomorrow’s game. The Tigers will try to win the series against Tampa Bay’s Bill Hellickson on Sunday. Rick Porcello will take the ball for the Detroit Tigers in a 1:40 start. You can catch the action on Fox Sports Detroit.