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Verlander Makes Season Debut, Tigers Fall To Indians 5-4

(Photo Credit: Gabe Rodriguez)

RHP Justin Verlander made his highly anticipated 2015 debut at Comerica Park on Saturday afternoon as the Detroit Tigers hosted their division rival Cleveland Indians.

RHP Carlos Carrasco (4.35, 7-5) took the start for the Indians and before Saturday’s game had a (1-4) record and a 9.45 ERA in the six games he had previously played at Comerica Park.

Verlander suffered a right triceps strain toward the end of Spring Training and has been forced to watch his Tigers from the sidelines as they experienced both “high” and “lows” so far this season. He made two rehab starts with the Toledo Mud Hens, Detroit’s Triple-A Affiliate. In his first start with the Mud Hens he went just 2 2/3 innings using seventy nine pitches with six hits and three earned runs allowed, walking two batters. In his most recent appearance with the Hens he struck out an impressive nine batters over 5 2/3 innings, allowing just four hits and one unearned run.  This outing proved to the Tigers that he was ready for his season debut and try to settle down a shaky starting rotation.

The Tigers took a one run lead in the bottom of the first with a RBI single to right to send home Rajai Davis.

In the bottom of the third, the Tigers extended their lead with a RBI double by J.D. Martinez to score Yoenis Cespedes and make it a 2-0 game.

Verlander allowed his first run of the season in the top of the fourth which was a homerun by Carlos Santana.

The Tigers tacked on their own run in the bottom of the fourth with a RBI double by Rajai Davis to score Jose Iglesias.

With a 3-1 ballgame Verlander was back out for the fifth where, with bases loaded and one out he allowed a sac fly by Jason Kipnis to make it a 3-2 ballgame.

Verlander left the game with a 3-2 lead after five innings of work. The Indians then scored two runs in the sixth off of reliever Blaine Hardy to take the lead and never looked back.

A homer by J.D. Martinez to start off the eighth just wasn’t enough for the Tigers to overcome as they fell 5-4 to the Indians in Verlander’s season debut.

Verlander’s final line ended at: 5 IP, 3H, 2R, 2BB, 2K.

Carrasco advanced to (8-5) on the season with the win, as Hardy was charged with his first loss of the season (2-1).

Up Next:

The third and final game of the series will bet at 1:08pm on Sunday afternoon with RHP Alfredo Simon (2.76, 6-3) takinbg the start for Detroit and RHP Corey Kluber (3.53, 3-7) taking the start for Cleveland.


Bethany is a Graduate of the University of South Florida and currently resides in Tampa. She is a die-hard Yankees' fan and has been a freelance writer for six years. She has covered the Yankees' Minor League System since 2010 and also does freelance work for and CBS Local Tampa Bay. Follow her on Twitter @TampaBethany

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