Verlanders, Tigers rock Rockies 6-2

By: 
The Associated Press

DENVER — Justin Verlander felt a little fatigue in the back of his shoulder and called it a day early.

Nothing to be concerned about or anything, he said, just the side effects of swinging the bat so well.

Verlander struck out nine over six commanding innings and drove in his first career run to help the Detroit Tigers beat the Colorado Rockies 6-2 on Wednesday.

“I’ll take (the soreness) for an RBI,” Verlander cracked.

Verlander (10-8) allowed one run and three hits. His only mistake was a curveball that Charlie Blackmon hit for a solo homer in the sixth. Verlander also ignited the offense with an RBI single in the second.

“I told him before the game, I said, ‘Your goal is to drive in more than you let in,’” recounted catcher James McCann , who sealed the game with a three-run shot in the fifth. “He drove in one and let in one. I guess I’ll give it to him.”

Not a bad swing, either, as Verlander lined a two-out slider from Chad Bettis (0-2) that fell in front of Blackmon. Verlander entered the game 3 for 40 in his career with 20 strikeouts.

Although he’s been practicing in the cage, the intensity of stepping into the box can’t be replicated. It may have led to stress on his shoulder/back area.

“I would call it irregular soreness, but not anything to do with pitching,” Verlander explained. “Not used to hitting, probably the altitude and a lot of things. Maybe a little dehydration. ... That’s why it’s hard to win here. There are a lot of elements besides pitching on the road.”

Still, Verlander tamed Coors Field in his second career start at the hitter’s park. He also tossed a four-hitter on June 19, 2011.

Nicholas Castellanos added a homer as the Tigers captured two of three from Colorado.

The Rockies finished August with a 12-15 record — their first losing month of the season. They saw their lead for the second NL wild card shrink to three games over Milwaukee.

“We will continue to do what we’ve done all year. We will bounce back,” Rockies manager Bud Black said.

Bettis struggled with his control in his fourth start since treatment for testicular cancer. He allowed five runs in five innings.

The breaking ball led to Bettis’ troubles all afternoon. Castellanos hit a curveball to left-center for his 19th homer of the season. McCann later hit a hanging slider from Bettis for a towering homer to left.

“It was poor execution pitching at a pivotal point in the game. I have to be better than that,” Bettis said.

UP NEXT

Rockies: Begin a pivotal three-game series against Arizona on Friday. LHP Kyle Freeland (11-8, 3.81) goes for the Rockies, while the Diamondbacks throw RHP Taijuan Walker (7-7, 3.55).

 

TWINS 11, WHITE SOX 1

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Jose Berrios pitched seven scoreless innings, Brian Dozier had four hits and Eddie Rosario homered twice as Minnesota defeated Chicago.

Berrios (12-6) tied a career high with 11 strikeouts, including seven of the last nine batters he faced. He walked one and gave up just four hits to win his seventh straight start at Target Field.

The Twins, with a slim lead for the second AL wild card, ran their August record to 19-10 — the most wins in the majors this month.

Mitch Garver and Ehire Adrianza each had three hits for the Twins. Adrianza tripled twice and drove in four runs, while Garver scored three runs and was a home run short of the cycle.

Derek Holland (7-14) gave up five runs in five innings. In six career starts at Target Field, he’s 0-5 with a 7.98 ERA.

 

ORIOLES 8, MARINERS 7

BALTIMORE (AP) — Welington Castillo went 4 for 4 with a homer and three RBIs, Jonathan Schoop singled in the go-ahead run in the eighth inning and Baltimore beat Seattle for its season-high seventh straight victory.

Schoop, Mancini and Craig Gentry also homered for the Orioles, who completed their first three-game sweep of Seattle since 2012. In this one, Baltimore fell behind 6-2 in the third inning before coming back.

Mitch Haniger homered and hit two doubles for Seattle, which completed an arduous 12-game East Coast trip with five straight defeats. After winning two of three in Tampa Bay and Atlanta, the Mariners went 1-2 at Yankee Stadium and came up empty against the sizzling Orioles.

After Baltimore went up 7-6 in the sixth on a bases loaded sacrifice fly by Manny Machado, Seattle pulled even in the eighth when Haniger connected off Brad Brach (4-4).

In the bottom half, Castillo singled off Christian Bergman (4-5) and went to second base on a sacrifice bunt before being replaced by pinch-runner Caleb Joseph. Tim Beckham then hit a liner to short, and Joseph was called out on a relay to second. But a replay overturned the call, and Schoop followed an intentional walk to Machado with a single to center off Marc Rzepczynski.

Zach Britton pitched the ninth for his 13th save.

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