WP: Justin Verlander (1-0) LP: Vance Worley (0-1) SV: Phil Coke (1)
MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota —
Justin Verlander threw 5 scoreless innings and the Tigers got some early runs in a 4-2 Opening Day defeat of the Minnesota Twins. The win was Verlander’s 1st career Opening Day win in 6 tries. Detroit scored two in the top of the first when Austin Jackson scored on a fielder’s choice, then Prince Fielder smacked a double to left, scoring Miguel Cabrera. Omar Infante followed up in the 2nd with an RBI single, scoring Jhonny Peralta.
The Tigers led 3-0 most of the game, with Verlander keeping the Twins bats silent. Maybe it was the cold (game time temperature was 34 degrees with a strong northwest wind) or maybe it was the fact that Jim Leyland didn’t want to burn him out in the 1st game, but Verlander only lasted 91 pitches through 5 innings (Verlander’s line: 5IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7K). Drew Smyly came into the game and was roughed up for a pair of runs which cut the Tiger lead to 1. Detroit answered right back in the 8th, when Prince Fielder trucked home on a wild pitch, giving the Tigers some insurance and a 4-2 lead. Phil Coke came in for the final two outs to record his 1st save of the year.
A few bright spots for the Tigers were Torii Hunter going 2 for 5 with a double, and Jhonny Peralta going 2 for 3 with a run. In his first regular season game since 2011, Victor Martinez finished 0 for 3 with a walk and a strikeout.
The Tigers are off tomorrow before getting right back on the horse Wednesday. First pitch is at 4:10 from Target Field in Minneapolis.
Great to get the 1st win under the belt! GO TIGERS!