|Final - 7.26.2012||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|WP: Joe Smith (7 - 2)
SV: Chris Perez (29)
LP: Justin Verlander (11 - 6)
How often does Justin Verlander give up back-to-back home runs? How often does he even give up multiple home runs?
Not very often, that's how much.
But he gave up back-to-back homers to lead off the bottom of the seventh inning so fast that you had to hope you were watching some strange replay and not a two-run lead evaporating. No luck. Soon after, with the Indians still hitting, a tie game became a deficit. And soon after that, a deficit became a loss ... and a drop to 1/2 game out of first in the division.
A rare meltdown, to be sure. For his career, Verlander allowed 130 home runs before Thursday's game. He allowed multiple home runs in a game 25 times in his career. But to answer the question specifically: Luke Hughes and Jason Repko of the Twins hit back-to-back solo shots in the bottom of the fifth inning on Aug. 27, 2011. That was the last time it occurred. Carlos Quentin and Paul Konerko did it in the top of the seventh on April 22, 2011. Those were the only times all season. His team won both times.
It happened not once in 2010, not once in 2009, not once in 2008, you get the point. (However, Verlander's worst day, as far as the long ball is concerned, came Sept. 18, 2007, in Cleveland where he allowed four home runs. His only other multi-homer game that season? Also in Cleveland.)
You have to go all the way back to 2006 to find the only other back-to-back homers off Verlander. Sept, 19, 2006 against the White Sox, and in the first inning on April 13, 2006 (his second start of the season).
So, unless I missed any, that makes Thursday's back-to-back homers to the Indians just the fifth time it's occurred in 225 starts. Of course, it was going to be in Cleveland, and of course it was going to come in a loss. It's Cleveland. What did you expect?
The Tigers led 3-1 before JV's fateful turn. Prince Fielder and Austin Jackson each drove in a run via singles, and Delmon Young added a solo home run in the top of the sixth. Verlander had been cruising, allowing just a run on three hits.
Beyond the home runs and the hits, Verlander didn't get a lot of help from his defense either. First there was no play to be made at second base after the throw came in from the infield. Then there was the shot to shortstop (and defensive replacement) Ramon Santiago that he couldn't handle. Que sera sera, I guess. The damage was done.
The White Sox were off. The Tigers now head to Toronto for the weekend series.
Delmon Young - HR
Austin Jackson - 3-for-4, RBI
Prince Fielder - 2 H
Justin Verlander - This always hurts, you had to do it
Brennan Boesch - 0-for-4 (again)
Quintin Berry - 1-for-5, 3 strikeouts
GAME 98 POG
Quintin Berry by a razor's edge.