Live blog: Tigers, Verlander cruise to series win
FINAL: TIGERS 6, ROCKIES 2
Justin Verlander tossed another gem and the Tigers cruised a 6-1 win over the Rockies in Colorado on Wednesday afternoon.
Nick Castellanos (3-for-5) had a solo home run in the third inning, and it was James McCann's three-run blast in the fifth that really put the Tigers on cruise control.
Verlander gave up a home run in the sixth inning to Charlie Blackmon, but other than that, he was money. The former MVP threw six strong frames on 98 pitches, giving up just that one run on three hits and one walk.
Verlander also helped his own cause with an RBI single to center field in the second inning. It was the first RBI of Verlander's career.
Jose Iglesias went 3-for-3 with a run scored.
Bottom 9th: Tigers 6, Rockies 2
Shane Greene came out of the bullpen in the ninth, and after giving up a two-out double to Carlos Gonzalez, he proceeded to give up a two-out RBI double to Trevor Story to cut the Tigers lead to 6-2.
Jonathan Lucroy flew out to center field to end the game.
Top 9th: Tigers 6, Rockies 1
Nick Castellanos doubled to right-center off of new Rockies reliever Scott Oberg, but James McCann fouled out to end the inning.
Dixon Machado grounded out to shortstop and Justin Upton struck out swinging to start the frame.
Bottom 8th: Tigers 6, Rockies 1
Tony Wolters dropped a leadoff single into center field off of Tigers reliever Alex Wilson. Wilson bounced back to set the next two Rockies down before D.J. LeMahieu singled to right field to put runners on the corners. Wilson struck out the always dangers Nolan Arenado to end the threat.
Top 8th: Tigers 6, Rockies 1
A pinch-hitting Miguel Cabrera saw the field in the eighth with the bases loaded and nobody out. Despite hitting into a double play, Cabrera did enough to get the run home from third to push the Tigers lead to 6-1.
John Hicks singled to center field, Jacoby Jones walked and Jose Iglesias singled to left field to set up Cabrera's at-bat.
With a man on third, Mikie Mahtook flew out to right field to end the inning.
Bottom 7th: Tigers 5, Rockies 1
Brad Ausmus decided to sit Justin Verlander down after six innings and 98 pitches, opting to bring Drew VerHagen in from the bullpen.
The move didn't come back to haunt the Tigers, as VerHagen set the Rockies down in order.
Verlander racked up nine strikeouts over his six innings, surrendering just one run on three hits and one walk.
Top 7th: Tigers 5, Rockies 1
Justin Upton struck out swinging, Nick Castellanos grounded out to shortstop and James McCann grounded out to third as the Tigers went down in order in the seventh.
Bottom 6th: Tigers 5, Rockies 1
Charlie Blackmon broke up the shutout by Justin Verlander with his 32nd home run of the season to leadoff the sixth. The shot to center field cut the Tigers lead to 5-1.
Verlander bounced back to set the next three Colorado hitters down without issue.
Top 6th: Tigers 5, Rockies 0
Jose Iglesias notched a one-out single to center field off of Rockies reliever Tyler Chatwood. Justin Verlander tried to drop down a bunt with two strikes, bunting the ball foul for the second out of the inning. Mikie Mahtook was able to draw a two-out walk, but Dixon Machado struck out swinging to let Chatwood off the hook.
Jacoby Jones grounded out to third to leadoff the frame.
Bottom 5th: Tigers 5, Rockies 0
Trevor Story struck out swinging, Tony Wolters grounded out to shortstop and pinch-hitting Alexi Amarista struck out swinging as Justin Verlander continues to dominate the Rockies lineup.
Verlander's strikeout total is up to eight. His pitch count sits at 89.
Top 5th: Tigers 5, Rockies 0
The Tigers have staked Justin Verlander a nice lead in Colorado after James McCann hit a three-run bomb to left field to put the Tigers up 5-0.
It was McCann's 13th home run of the season.
Dixon Machado notched a single to right field when Carlos Gonzalez failed to complete what would have been an amazing diving catch. After Justin Upton flew out to right field, Nick Castellanos singled to right field to put two men on for McCann.
Mikie Mahtook grounded out back the mound to leadoff the frame.
Bottom 4th: Tigers 2, Rockies 0
Gerardo Parra struck out swinging, Ian Desmond grounded out to third and Carlos Gonzalez grounded out to shortstop as Justin Verlander had his first 1-2-3 inning of the day.
Verlander's pitch count is still a bit elevated at 76.
Top 4th: Tigers 2, Rockies 0
Jose Iglesias notched a two-out single to left field, but Justin Verlander was unable to replicate his big hit in the second inning, grounding out to shortstop to end the fourth.
John Hicks grounded out to third and Jacoby Jones grounded out to second to start the inning.
Bottom 3rd: Tigers 2, Rockies 0
Charlie Blackmon drew a one-out walk from Justin Verlander, but for the third consecutive inning, the Rockies left a man standing on first base when the inning came to an end. D.J. LeMahieu was Verlander's fourth strikeout victim, while Nolan Arenado became the fifth as Verlander has had no issues today with men on base.
Verlander's pitch count is elevated at 58.
Chad Bettis flew out to right field to leadoff the inning.
Top 3rd: Tigers 2, Rockies 0
Nick Castellanos went fishing for a ball down in the zone and drove it over the wall for a two-out solo home run that puts the Tigers up 2-0 in the third.
The dinger is Castellanos' 19th of the season.
Dixon Machado grouned out to second and Justin Upton struck out swinging to start the frame.
Bottom 2nd: Tigers 1, Rockies 0
Carlos Gonzalez singled to center field with one out, but Justin Verlander kept the damage to a minimum. The Tigers' new big hitter struck out Trevor Story and got Tony Wolters to ground out to shortstop.
Trevor Story struck out looking
Ian Desmond grounded out back to the mound to leadoff the inning.
Top 2nd: Tigers 1, Rockies 0
There was a point in his career where he couldn't get on base to save his life during interleague play.
Well, now Justin Verlander has his first career RBI after driving in a run with a two-out single to center field, putting the Tigers up 1-0.
The hit was just the fourth in Verlander's career.
James McCann drew a leadoff walk, and despite getting ahead 3-0 against Chad Bettis, John Hicks struck out looking. McCann moved up to second when Jacoby Jones grounded out to third. Jose Iglesias was able to draw a two-out walk to give the Tigers two men on base for the second consecutive inning, setting up the dramatic Verlander at-bat.
Bottom 1st: Tigers 0, Rockies 0
D.J. LeMahieu notched a one-out single to right field, but Justin Verlander was able to dial it in and get out of the inning. Verlander struck out Nolan Arenado and got Gerardo Parra to ground out to second to get out of the inning.
Charlie Blackmon struck out swinging to leadoff the frame.
Top 1st: Tigers 0, Rockies 0
Dixon Machado was hit by a pitch by Colorado starter Chad Bettis to give the Tigers a baserunner with one out in the opening frame. Justin Upton singled to right field to put men on first and second, but Nick Castellanos grounded into an inning-ending double play to get Bettis out of the jam.
Mikie Mahtook flew out to left field to leadoff the inning.
TIGERS AT ROCKIES
First pitch: 3:10 p.m. Wednesday, Coors Field, Colorado
TV/radio: Fox Sports Detroit/97.1 FM
Records: The Tigers are 57-74, fourth place in the American League Central Division, 17.5 games behind the Cleveland Indians. The Rockies are 72-60, third place in the National League West, 20 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers, and four games in front for the second wild-card spot.
1. Mikie Mahtook, RF
2. Dixon Machado, 2B
3. Justin Upton, LF
4. Nick Castellanos, 3B
5. James McCann, C
6. John Hicks, 1B
7. JaCoby Jones, CF
8. Jose Iglesias, SS
9. Justin Verlander, RHP
1. Charlie Blackmon, CF
2. DJ LeMahieu, 2B
3. Nolan Arenado, 3B
4. Gerardo Parra, LF
5. Ian Desmond, 1B
6. Carlos Gonzalez, RF
7. Trevor Story, SS
8. Tony Wolters, C
9. Chad Bettis, RHP