The Tigers overcame a poor performance by Justin Verlander’s standards to defeat the Cincinnati Reds 3-2 on Saturday afternoon. An eighth inning single by Prince Fielder off of Sean Marshall (1-2) scoring Brennan Boesch proved to be the game-winner.
Verlander lasted six innings, but threw 127 pitches giving up six hits, three walks and two runs. Verlander did strike-out nine Reds batters, and it was his 55th straight start of six innings or more.
The Tigers had a 2-0 lead after Ramon Santiago hit is second of the season in the second inning, and Fielder hit his 10th in the fourth. The Reds rallied for two runs in the bottom of the fourth helped by a Delmon Young miscue in left field.
The Tigers bullpen shut down the Reds offense after Verlander left the game. Brayan Villarreal (2-1), Joaquin Benoit, and Jose Valverde combined in holding the Reds hitless over three innings. Valverde picked up his 11th save of the season with a 1-2-3 ninth inning. Valverde has retired the side in order in his last three appearances since a June 2nd meltdown against the New York Yankees.
Hernan Perez made his major league debut in the eighth inning pinch-hitting for Villarreal. The 21 year-old shortstop was playing at Class A Lakeland before his call-up to replace Jhonny Peralta who is on paternity leave. Perez grounded out to third in his only at-bat.
Austin Jackson returned to the line-up after almost a month away due to an abdominal strain. Jackson was 0-4 with one strikeout yesterday. Quintin Berry, who had been filling in for Jackson, came off the bench in the bottom of the ninth as a defensive replacement in left field. To make room for Jackson, pitcher Jose Ortega was optioned to Toledo.
The Tigers complete this three-game series tonight at 8:00pm in Cincinnati. Drew Smyly (2-2, 3.71 ERA, 1.25 WHIP) will start for the Tigers against Homer Bailey (4-4, 4.39 ERA, 1.36 WHIP) for the Reds.
About the Author
Written by Jeremy Klumpp
I am a graduate of Eastern Michigan University with a degree in Electronic Media and Film. For two years I wrote a baseball blog, "Ground Rule Double," and have contributed to a book on the 1968 Detroit Tigers. If you want to read my non-sports thoughts head to jklumpp1.posterous.com.