Verlander solid as Tigers’ bats go dark
NEW YORK (AP) – Even one of Justin Verlander’s best outings of the season wasn’t good enough to finally win at the new Yankee Stadium.
The former Cy Young Award was beaten again in the Detroit Tigers’ 5-1 loss to New York on Wednesday night, but considered it one of his best performances of the year.
“If I can pitch like that moving forward, there are going to be a whole lot of positive outcomes to come,” Verlander said after allowing two runs on five hits in seven innings. “You’ve got to stay positive, and tonight there were a lot of positives to build off for me going forward: changeup, curveball, fastball location. There were a lot of things that were much better than they have been.”
Verlander, who has never won in any of his seven starts at the new Yankee Stadium (including one in the postseason), surrendered solo home runs to Chase Headly in the fifth and Brian McCann in the seventh, the latter snapping a 1-1 tie. He struck out five and walked just one.
“I’m not going to dwell on two homers,” he said. “Headley’s was gone anywhere, McCann’s probably not in a lot of places, but, overall it was a good game.”
“I felt I threw the ball very well. These guys have picked me up a lot in the past, especially this year. They weren’t able to do that tonight, but that’s the game of baseball.”
As they did in Tuesday’s 4-3 victory, the Tigers scored in the first inning via the sacrifice fly, after Rajai Davis reached on Derek Jeter’s error.
That was all Detroit could generate against Chris Capuano, Adam Warren (2-5), who got the win in relief, and David Huff, who pitched a perfect ninth.
Blaine Hardy took over for Verlander to start the eighth and gave up three runs to blow the game open.
“Innings like that happen,” Hardy said. “We’ve got the ability to (come back), but it’s hard to come back from those. The Yankees got us today. Hopefully, we’ll get ’em tomorrow.”
The Tigers were unable to tie it in the top of the eighth, despite two errors on the same play by Yankees second baseman Stephen Drew, putting runners at the corners with one out. Warren came back from a 3-0 count to strike out J.D. Martinez and got Nick Castellanos to fly out to right.
Yankees: Michael Pineda, who has missed exactly half the season with a right shoulder muscle injury, will make his second rehab appearance Friday at Scranton. Girardi indicated Pineda’s return might be accelerated. “He’s probably available to go somewhere between 75 to 80 (pitches). Then we’ll see where we’re at,” Girardi said.
Tigers: Right fielder Torii Hunter was listed as day-to-day after being hit on the left hand by Dellin Betanaces’ pitch in the ninth inning Tuesday night. X-rays taken after the game were negative. Hunter said he had a ruptured blood vessel and had a difficult time sleeping last night, but was relieved nothing was broken. “I’d rather deal day-to-day than have a couple weeks off,” he said before Wednesday’s game. “It (the pitch) just backed up. I guess it just slipped out of his hand or something like that and stayed in on me.
That’s baseball. You can’t do anything about that. None of that was intentional.”
The Yankees go with rookie right-hander Shane Greene (2-1, 3.68 ERA) in the finale of the four-game set Thursday. Detroit sends right-hander Rick Porcello (13-5, 3.18 ERA to the mound.
FIVE O’CLOCK SHADOW: C.C. Sabathia, sporting a full beard and walking with the aid of a metal crutch, joined his teammates for the official team photo before Wednesday’s game. The Yankees have a long-standing policy against beards.