DETROIT--There was no developing no-hitter for Justin Verlander on Friday night. But considering the lull-type pace of the game due to an ongoing pitcher's duel, you would have been hard pressed to think otherwise.
Verlander started out strong with a 1-2-3 first inning, but he had trouble keeping the Twins off the bases in the second and third innings. Verlander then settled in and was dominant for the next three innings, issuing only one walk. But he couldn't hold that pace and wound up on the wrong side of the duel.
After inducing a 2-3 groundout for the first out, Verlander allowed two singles with a flyout between the two but walked the next batter to load the bases. He had trouble locating the strike zone and gave up a 2-run RBI single on a 1-1 count to Kurt Suzuki which put the Twins ahead 2-0.
Verlander's night was finished after seven innings. He gave up seven hits and allowed two earned runs while walking two and striking out five batters. Of the 114 pitches Verlander threw, 61 percent were for strikes. If you go by the numbers alone, the fault is credited to him, however that was anything but the case.
The Tigers had eight hits with a stolen base in six innings but despite having runners in scoring position five times they could not produce a run. Every opportunity came with two outs and every time they spoiled it. The Tigers were held hitless in the seventh and eighth innings and were retired in order.
Rajai Davis doubled in the third inning on a 1-0 pitch. He initially bolted for third when the ball bounced into the outfield briefly. He would, however, stay at second base after rethinking the idea.
Austin Jackson was credited with a stolen base Friday night after he hit a single to right field. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire initially came out to discuss random nonsense while awaiting word on whether he should challenge it. He received the no-go signal and slinked back to the visiting bullpen with no challenge.
The Tigers would get another opportunity in the ninth to redeem themselves. Austin Jackson got a leadoff double and Alex Avila scorched his own double which put the Tigers on the board and prevented them from being shutout. But a swinging strikeout by Rajai Davis ended the game and the Tigers took their second consecutive loss for the first time since April 16.