Justin Verlander was dominant again today striking out 13 batters in 6 1/3 innings before leaving the game with a 5-0 lead and two men on base. Much like last year, the bullpen could not hold a lead today. Bobby Seay allowed both of Justin Verlander's runners to score and four of his own as the Twins plated six runs in the seventh inning to take a 6-5 lead which they held for the remainder of the game. Zach Miner also contributed a walk and a hit to the fire.
Verlander now has struckout nine or more batters in each of his last four games for a total of 44 strikeouts in 27 1/3 innings. For the season, Justin has a Major League leading 69 punch outs in 50 1/3 innings. That is 12.3 K per 9 IP for the season. Eric Cioe over at Motownsports compiled some more stats on Verlander
The Tigers offense struggled for most of the game except for a five run sixth which at the time looked like a very good cushion. They scored on an RBI double by Ramon Santiago (playing second base for the resting Placido Polanco), a two run double by Magglio Ordonez (back in the third spot today) and a two run single by Clete Thomas.
The Tigers entered April with an 11-10 record and four teams within a game of first place in the AL Central. After a stretch of 12 games against divisional opponents, the Tigers are still a game above .500 at 17-16 and the AL Central is still bunched up with the same four teams all within two games of first place. They beat up on the Indians the last two weeks taking five of six but went 1-4 versus the Twins and lost a game to the White Sox. next up is a nine game homestand versus the Athletics, Rangers and Rockies.