Justin Verlander held the New York Yankees to just five hits and a run, but he still needed offensive support to back him up, and he got it. Ian Kinsler used their pitching staff as his personal pinball machine, knocking in five of the six runs to give the Detroit Tigers a 6-1 win over New York and even the series.
Verlander was dealing, but it wasn't because of the curveball. He threw the pitch just three times in the first three innings, and while he increased its usage as the game went on, he had minimal success. Still, he gave up just five hits and one run across 6 2/3 innings.
The curve had plenty of movement, Verlander just couldn't throw it for strikes as often as he normally would. Still, he had no problem with his other pitches, and the Yankees looked downright silly at times. The only run he allowed, an RBI single in the third, came after a nearly five-minute reviewed triple was upheld.
Lucky for Verlander, the Tigers gave him some offensive support to work with, an oddity of late. In five of Verlander's seven starts, the Tigers had given him just three runs or less for backup and four of those starts resulted in losses. Verlander had given up four runs in one start, and seven in the other.
Granted, in this case, most of the credit goes to Ian Kinsler, who beat up on Masahiro Tanaka and the Yankees' bullpen. He smacked a three-run blast in the fifth and then later he drove in two more on a two-run double. But it was Nick Castellanos, who got the party started with a solo shot in the second. And that was about it for worthwhile offensive contributions.
Justin Verlander: 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball. He struck out five, gave up five hits, and walked only one batter.
Nick Castellanos: Knocked a solo shot in the second to get the Tigers on the board.
Ian Kinsler: He kicked the crap out of the Yankees' pitching staff with a three-run homer and two-run double.
Tigers bullpen: Lockdown (excluding Alex Wilson). Just as it should be. Shane Greene struck out both batters he faced and Justin Wilson didn't give up a hit in his two-thirds of an inning. Star Lord couldn't get it done, as he loaded the bases with two outs in the ninth, but Francisco Rodriguez was able to get the final out on a weak grounder.
2-3-4 hitters: For once, Cameron Maybin was hitless, Miguel Cabrera went hitless in his second straight game, and Victor Martinez bat zero in his four at-bats. They were a combined 0-for-12 and V-Mart struck out twice, walking once.
STREAKS AND STATS:
- The Tigers drove in more than three runs in a game that Verlander started for just the third time in his last eight starts. The team has won all three starts.
- Miguel Cabrera was 0-for-4 tonight, which still leaves him one hit shy of reaching the 2,400 career hit mark. It was his second straight game in which he went 0-for-4.
- Ian Kinsler finished 2-for-3 with a home run and a double. It was the first homer he'd hit in June. Kinsler is batting .325/.386/.475 after 10 games into the month.
- Kinsler's five-RBI night marked the first time in his career that he'd driven in five runs in a game. He'd had 15 four-RBI games in his career, his last occurring on May 31 against the Angels.
WIN PROBABILITY GRAPH: