DETROIT — A group offensive effort backed Justin Verlander’s dominant start on Tuesday. With a two-run eighth for insurance and a dependable bullpen, the Detroit Tigers won 4-2 over the Seattle Mariners on the inaugural Bark at the Park Night.
Verlander gave up just three hits and a walk in the first five innings of the game, allowing no more than one baserunner in any frame. His command was sharp and he had a deadly curveball. The only mistake he made was on a high 96 mph fastball that Kyle Seager bombed out to right for a two-run home run.
The Tigers’ offense wasn’t going to go quietly, though. There were no dramatic home runs — though Miguel Cabrera came close at one point on a long, loud foul — but the collective contributions were enough. Nick Castellanos drove in the first run in the sixth on an RBI single, which was followed in the seventh by Ian Kinsler’s RBI single.
But the insurance would come in the eighth, thanks to a two-run spot started by Victor Martinez’s and Castellanos’ back-to-back hits (a single and double, respectively). Justin Upton got intentionally walked to load the bases and the offense took it from there.
Mike Aviles drove in the go-ahead run on a “throw the bat out there and see what happens” hit, because sure why not. James McCann’s sacrifice fly provided the fourth run, and the Tigers went into the ninth with a lead after trailing 2-0 in the sixth. Bruce Rondon and Francisco Rodriguez then slammed the door for a convincing win.
Justin Verlander: Seven innings with two runs on six hits, one walk, and five strikeouts. Dominate yet again.
Tigers offense: The contributions came from everywhere, so these runs were a group effort. Kinsler, Castellanos, and Aviles all finished with multi-hit games, though, and three of the four runs came off their bats.
Tigers bullpen: Bruce Rondon pitched a scoreless innings, walking a batter, and K-Rod struck out one in his scoreless inning of work — though it should be noted he had to work for that last out when he allowed two two-out hits.
Taking the night off.
STATS AND INFO:
- Justin Upton’s second-inning single gave him an 11-game hitting streak.
- The Tigers hosted their first-ever Bark at the Park Night and it was pretty great.
- K-Rod recorded his 20th save of the year. Since June 1 he’s given up just two runs (both came on one outing) in eight games, and opposing batters are hitting just .143 off of him entering Tuesday night’s game.
WIN PROBABILITY GRAPH: