Chris Sale outlasted Justin Verlander in terms out innings pitched, but it was the Detroit Tigers who had the last say. Detroit had nothing against Sale until the eighth when Nicholas Castellanos drove in Andrew Romine for a 2-1 final score over the Boston Red Sox, and a series win.
Verlander versus Sale went about how you’d expect. Runs were at a premium and Sale was hard to hit. Verlander, though, had to deal with an umpire’s fussy strike zone and Boston hitters who were playing hard to get out. Nonetheless, the only run allowed between either team for five innings was an unearned run thanks to an earlier Castellanos error in the second inning — he failed to field a double play ball and the run scored on the next double play.
Not until the sixth when Ian Kinsler stepped to the plate with two outs did the game become knotted. He took a first-pitch fastball from Sale into left for a home run, just the second hit of the day for Detroit. Sale’s stuff was just that good, that he had the Tigers looking overmatched for much of the game. Miguel Cabrera took a pitch to deep right-center, but fell just shy of the warning track.
Sale would stay in for the eighth inning and get two outs before the Tigers would get to him. Of all the guys in the lineup, it was Andrew Romine, the only Tiger with two hits off Sale (both doubles). Kinsler walked and Castellanos knocked an RBI single for Detroit’s first lead of the day — and ultimately, the final score.
Justin Verlander: Dominated and pitched around a double-happy Mitch Moreland. Went seven innings and gave up one run (unearned) on three hits, walking two and striking out four batters.
Ian Kinsler: The only hit the Tigers had was Romine’s ground-rule double until Kinsler dingered off Sale in the sixth to tie the game. It was a no-doubter, too.
Andrew Romine: A late lineup replacement after Justin Upton was pulled with upper back tightness, he had two doubles off Sale and scored the winning run.
The bullpen: Didn’t screw it up.
STREAKS AND INFO:
- Mitch Moreland had a field day facing Detroit. He hit doubles in the second and fourth innings, and singled in the ninth to give him six hits in this series. He hit .533/.588/.867 during the series against the Tigers.
- Andrew Romine had just second game of his career with multiple extra-base hits. On June 23, 2015, he hit a home run and a double, both off Cleveland’s Danny Salazar.