Twins finally beat Verlander, edge Tigers 2-1
MAY 09, 2014 10:43p ET
DETROIT -- Justin Verlander doesn't do moral victories.
Especially not against the Minnesota Twins.
Verlander allowed two runs in seven innings, just about his usual performance in his nine-game winning streak against Minnesota, but this time, it wasn't enough. Phil Hughes blanked the Tigers during his seven innings, and Glen Perkins got out of a ninth-inning jam as the Twins won 2-1.
"Wasn't good enough," Verlander said about his outing. "I was pretty good for the first six innings, but I wasn't great in the seventh."
The game was scoreless through six, and Verlander appeared to be in control in the seventh. The Twins had a runner on first, but there were two out with rookie Danny Salazar at the plate. Salazar, playing just his fifth major-league game, bounced a single up the middle, and Verlander walked Brian Dozier to load the bases.
He still had a chance to get out of the inning unscathed, but Kurt Suzuki hit a two-run single over second base for the game's first runs.
"I had a couple unexcusable pitches in that inning," Verlander said. "They weren't really mistakes, but I was thinking about one pitch and threw something else, and it cost me."
Brad Ausmus, though, thought Verlander was being much too hard on himself.
"If Justin pitches every game like that, we're going to be in very good shape," he said. "He more than gave us an opportunity to win that game. We just couldn't string any hits together off Hughes, and when we finally got something going in the ninth inning, it wasn't enough."
"We thought J.D. was our best option there," said Ausmus, who put him into the game in place of Andrew Romine. "He's been around baseball long enough to know that a hit is going to tie the game, and if he runs into one, we win. We just put him into a tough situation, because he'd been sitting around for eight-and-a-half innings, and then we're asking him to face one of the best closers in baseball."
Detroit's rally took place with fire-alarm lights flashing all over the stadium and sirens audible outside the stadium. In the top of the ninth, Suzuki had stepped out of the batter's box in surprise when a loud tone sounded throughout the park and a recorded voice said that an emergency had been reported.
According to the Tigers, the alarm was caused by a small fire in a janitor's closet in the Tigers Club. The fire was quickly put out with no injuries, but the Detroit Fire Department responded to the scene.
The alarm system, which stayed active until a few minutes after the final pitch, cut off the stadium PA system, so there was no music, player announcements or, more importantly, updates on what had caused the problem. Few if any fans left their seats, but they were never informed as to what had happened or that the issue had been solved.
Even the players were left wondering, with Torii Hunter saying that he had wanted to run for cover when the alarm first sounded.