KANSAS CITY — Before the Detroit Tigers Jerseys departed from a spirit-sapping trip to Toronto, one in which the team was unceremoniously swept, Justin Verlander Jerseys posted a picture on his official Instagram account Sunday that showed the 32-year-old ace scaling the side of the CN tower.
Tuesday night’s outing wasn’t quite as adventurous as his daring edge walk, but there were some tense moments all the same as the Tigers white-knuckled their way to a 6-5 win at Kauffman Stadium, snapping a four-game losing streak and halting an atrocious start to the club’s six-game road trip.
Verlander helped lead the way, recording his first win against the Royals since last season and giving up four runs — only two earned — in 6 2/3 innings pitched. It was not the same superlative performance as last week, when he had a no-hit bid broken up in the ninth inning in a start that was absolutely dominant from start to finish. But it was a solid outing that gave his struggling team what it needed most: a chance to win.
“He’s really pitched exceedingly well, not just velocity but in his approach,” said Tigers manager Brad Ausmus. “I think he’s trying to show everyone that Justin Verlander’s still here.”
Verlander himself admitted there were some aspects of his start he would rather not re-visit — his slider, for example. But his fastball remained sharp, and his velocity, especially late in the game, was still strong, topping out at 97 mph.
“Even if things aren’t working quite as well as they normally do, fastball location will get you out of trouble,” Verlander said.
It may not have been the same headline-grabbing performance as Verlander’s last start, but it resulted in a win, regardless, and the Tigers are desperate for those any way they are available.
“He utilized all his pitches, was using his fastball on both sides of the plate — keeping guys honest — and throwing all his off-speed stuff. He threw down in the zone, then worked up in the zone with a purpose,” rookie catcher James McCann Jerseys explained. “His breaking balls may not have been as sharp as the other night, but he found a way to get it done. That’s the Verlander we like to see.”
And in turn, Verlander got some well-deserved run support cheap mlb jerseys, something that had been lacking previously each time he took the mound. The Tigers jumped on Johnny Cueto Jerseys early, building a 3-0 lead by the second inning, and pulled away again in the seventh following a leadoff single from Anthony Gose Jerseys and a two-run shot from Ian Kinsler Jerseys.
Kinsler, who finished with two hits on Tuesday night, leads the American League with 51 multihit games this season and has gone 21-for-54 (.389) with 11 runs, four home runs and 11 RBIs in his last 13 games.
“His attitude is great every day,” Ausmus said. “He comes to win, and he puts his work in every single day wholesale jerseys. He’s one of the more voracious workers on this team.”
There were some shaky plays in the field, however, and they likely led to a few tense moments in the dugout, with a dangerous Royals lineup — one that returned Alex Gordon Jerseys from the disabled list for the first time in eight weeks — threatening to rally late in the game.
Left fielder Tyler Collins Jerseys, who had a big night from the plate (2-for-4), was charged with a fielding error on a Salvador Perez Jerseys single that allowed him to advance to second. Andrew Romine Jerseys, who entered the game as a defensive substitution, clearly thought he should have been charged with one as well on Lorenzo Cain Jerseys‘s eighth-inning single. Romine approached reliever Alex Wilson Jerseys after the game to tell him as much. And then there was the odd, uncontested steal from Ben Zobrist Jerseys in the ninth, a baffling play that allowed Zobrist to take second base with what was met with virtual indifference.
As for the latter, Ausmus chalked that up to an “ill advised” high leg kick from closer Bruce Rondon Jerseys that allowed Zobrist to get a good jump.
Regardless, the Royals fell short of completing the comeback, so there was not much of an appetite for second-guessing after the game cheap jerseys.
“We did a heck of a job holding them off,” McCann said. “Because they put up a good fight.”