Brad Ausmus leaned heavily on the bullpen as the Tigers couldn’t get a quality start from either starter in the day/night doubleheader on Saturday.
In game 1, rookie Drew VerHagen was called up from Triple-A Toledo to make his MLB debut. This coming after previous Toledo call-up Robbie Ray had a couple of bad outings in his last starts for the Mud Hens. VerHagen started with a flare striking out his first two batters faced and cruised through the Indians’ batting order the first time around, giving up one hit through the first four innings. In the fifth, Nick Swisher mashed a double to deep-center field and VerHagen looked like a rookie for the rest of the inning. He took the loss, going 5 innings and giving up 3 runs in his first appearance. He was no match for Indians veteran Corey Kluber who nearly threw a complete game and picked up his 10th win of the season. Miggy had three hits as the Tigers dropped the day game 6-2 to Cleveland.
In the nightcap, Max Scherzer took the mound aiming for his 12th win of the season, but didn’t make it into the 6th inning before being pulled by Ausmus. Max struck out 6 and gave up four walks in 5 and 2/3 innings, giving up two home runs to Chris Dickerson in the 3rd and 6th innings – his only earned runs of the night. Ian Krol and Joba Chamberlain were lights out, keeping the game tied at 2-2 going into the 9th inning. Joe Nathan loaded the bases and then cleared them by giving up a double off of the wall to Carlos Santana; an inning that included two walks and a wild pitch by the closer. Nathan was booed as he was handed his third loss only three games into the second half of the season. Austin Jackson was offensively and defensively potent with two RBIs and a couple of hits that included a triple in the 7th, but the Tigers lose the second game 5-2.