Originally written on Fox Sports Detroit  |  Last updated 10/26/14
LAKELAND, Fla. Justin Verlander knew it was coming and his former teammate didn't disappoint. In Thursday night's 7-2 exhibition loss to the Houston Astros at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, Verlander was cruising along until the fourth inning. Jose Altuve led off with a single. Then Brandon Laird followed with a home run to right field and the Astros led, 2-1. If the name of the home-run hitter sounds familiar, it should. Laird is the younger brother of Gerald Laird, the former Tigers catcher who is now playing for the Atlanta Braves. Verlander, who allowed four runs on six hits (three of them home runs) while striking out five in 5 23 innings, returned to the clubhouse after his outing and checked his cell phone. Sure enough, there was a text message from Gerald waiting for him. "Once he hit it, I was like, 'Oh, God, I'm never going to hear the end of this,'" Verlander said. Verlander said he had not yet composed a response but planned to do so later. While rookie Br...
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