Minnesota leads 2-1 (as of 8/23)
|Game 1: Friday, August 22|
|Recap »Boxscore »|
|Game 2: Saturday, August 23|
|Recap »Boxscore »|
|Game 3: Saturday, August 23|
|Recap »Boxscore »|
|Game 4: Sunday, August 24|
|Recap »Boxscore »|
8:10 PM ET, August 23, 2014
Target Field, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Tigers collect 17 hits as Justin Verlander moves to 5-0 at Target Field
MINNEAPOLIS -- Justin Verlander showed some rust in his return. The results weren't great, albeit against a hot-hitting opponent.
That award-winning right shoulder looked relaxed, though, and the sight of Verlander on the mound gave the sputtering Detroit Tigers a spark.
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Given his season-long struggles and the Tigers' recent ones, it wasn't a stretch to call Justin Verlander's Saturday return his most important start of the season, and he gutted his way to a needed Detroit win. Story
Victor Martinez and J.D. Martinez each had three hits, too, and Joe Nathan notched his 27th save in 32 attempts despite an RBI double by Brian Dozier in the ninth. Verlander (11-11) improved to 5-0 in seven career starts at Target Field.
"I wanted to finish the game, but I knew what he was seeing. Obviously, I've been off for a while and fatigue was a factor there and we really couldn't let this game slip away from us," said Verlander, whose last turn was skipped because of shoulder soreness.
He was removed after one inning the start before that Aug. 11 at Pittsburgh, when Ausmus said he looked like he was throwing darts to protect the joint. Here, his motion was free and easy, and his changeup was diving.
"He wouldn't be Justin Verlander if he didn't push back when he's being taken out. He does not like to come out of games, and I think that's great," Ausmus said.
Coupled with their 12-4 loss to the Twins in the afternoon, the Tigers dropped to a season-most three games behind first-place Kansas City in the AL Central. They also fell to a game behind Seattle for the second wild-card spot.
So after the Tigers gave up a total of 32 runs and 34 hits while throwing a whopping 398 pitches in losing the first two games of the series, they badly needed the old Verlander to come through in this one.
"I'm extremely happy he got a win in his first start back," Ausmus said.
Eugenio Suarez's broken-bat, two-run single pushed the Tigers in front 5-4, and Jared Burton was summoned from the bullpen. Castellanos hit a two-out, two-strike, two-run single in the seventh off Burton to add to the lead.
Vargas finished the day with six RBIs and has driven in 23 runs in his first 22 major league games, all this month.
The Twins scored seven runs in the opener off Tigers starter Buck Farmer (0-1), who managed only four outs. He gave up six runs in the second, while the Twins batted around for the third time in a span of nine innings.
Tigers: Miguel Cabrera's bothersome right ankle flared up a bit near the end of the long day, and Ausmus said he'd consider keeping the slugger out of the series finale to give him two straight days off with no game Monday. "Obviously we'd prefer to have Miggy in the lineup, but his health is more important," Ausmus said.
Twins: Joe Mauer is still receiving daily treatment for the strained muscle on his right side that kept him out for 34 games. He stretched his streak of reaching base, the longest active in the majors, to 25 games and drove in four runs for the day. "I feel good. I'm seeing the ball well," said Mauer, who's hitting .327 with 11 RBIs in 13 games since coming off the DL.
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 23: Justin Verlander #35 of the Detroit Tigers takes the mound against the Minnesota...(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)
Regular Season Series
|Minnesota leads 10-9 (as of Sat 8/23)|
|Fri 4/25||DET 10, @MIN 6||Recap|
|Sat 4/26||@MIN 5, DET 3||Recap|
|Fri 5/9||MIN 2, @DET 1||Recap|
|Sat 5/10||@DET 9, MIN 3||Recap|
|Sun 5/11||MIN 4, @DET 3||Recap|
|Fri 6/13||MIN 2, @DET 0||Recap|
|Sat 6/14||@DET 12, MIN 9||Recap|
|Sun 6/15||@DET 4, MIN 3||Recap|
|Fri 8/22||@MIN 20, DET 6||Recap|
|Sat 8/23||@MIN 12, DET 4||Recap|
|» Sat 8/23||DET 8, @MIN 6||Box Score|
|Sun 8/24||DET 13, @MIN 4||Recap|
|Mon 9/15||DET 8, @MIN 6||Recap|
|Tue 9/16||@MIN 4, DET 3||Recap|
|Wed 9/17||@MIN 8, DET 4||Recap|
|Thu 9/25||@DET 4, MIN 2||Recap|
|Fri 9/26||MIN 11, @DET 4||Recap|
|Sat 9/27||MIN 12, @DET 3||Recap|
|Sun 9/28||@DET 3, MIN 0||Recap|
|Complete Schedule: Tigers | Twins|
|2nd||B Holaday singled to center, V Martinez scored, J Martinez to second.||1||0|
|2nd||K Suzuki singled to center, T Plouffe scored.||1||1|
|3rd||J Martinez singled to left, T Hunter scored, V Martinez to second.||2||1|
|3rd||J Mauer doubled to deep right center, D Santana scored, B Dozier to third.||2||2|
|3rd||T Plouffe doubled to deep left, B Dozier and J Mauer scored.||2||4|
|5th||M Cabrera grounded into double play, shortstop to second to first, I Kinsler scored, T Hunter out at second.||3||4|
|6th||E Suarez singled to center, N Castellanos and B Holaday scored, E Suarez to second on throwing error by center fielder D Santana.||5||4|
|7th||N Castellanos singled to right, V Martinez and J Martinez scored.||7||4|
|7th||K Vargas grounded out to second, B Dozier scored.||7||5|
|8th||M Cabrera singled to center, E Suarez scored, T Hunter to third.||8||5|
|9th||B Dozier doubled to deep left, J Schafer scored.||8||6|
|View complete Play-By-Play|
|Stadium||Target Field, Minneapolis, MN|
|Attendance||25,578 (64.7% full) - % is based on regular season capacity|
|Weather||77 degrees, overcast|
|Umpires||Home Plate - Chris Guccione, First Base - Eric Cooper, Second Base - Tom Hallion, Third Base - Stu Scheurwater|
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