Justin Verlander faltered and the Detroit Tigers’ offense failed on numerous occasions to up its ace, as the Baltimore Orioles grabbed a 5-2 win at Comerica Park.
Here are the grades for Tuesday night’s game:
1. Austin Jackson: B-plus. Jackson finished a respectable 1-for-3, but he did his very best to rally the troops in the closing innings. A-Jax walked in the fifth, singled home a run in the seventh, then drew a one-out walk to give Detroit hope in the ninth.
2. Torii Hunter: B-minus. A pair of hits for Hunter, including a single in the ninth to bring up Miguel Cabrera as the tying run. Still, he grounded into what should have been a double play in the seventh inning.
3. Miguel Cabrera: C-minus. Cabrera did have two hits in five at-bats Tuesday, so it’s tough to drop his grade this low. But he ended the night by grounding into a double play on the first pitch he saw, plus fouled out to first with runners on first and third in the seventh.
4. Prince Fielder: C. Not much to write home about for Fielder, either. He did draw a walk in one of his four at-bats (three official), but he followed Cabrera’s seventh-inning foul out with one of his own.
5. Victor Martinez: C. Basically the same night for V-Mart as Fielder — 0-for-3 with a walk. The only difference was that Martinez had no real chances with runners on base.
6. Jhonny Peralta: C-plus. Peralta had a double in the second but he, like most of the guys in this order tonight, failed to come through with runners on — he left two out there in the fourth.
7. Matt Tuiasosopo: B. Impressive to see Tuiasosopo launch an opposite-field home run to get Detroit on the board. He also left Peralta stranded following that early double, then was pinch-hit for by Don Kelly late.
8. Omar Infante: C-plus. Infante’s single in the seventh sparked a mini-rally by the Tigers. Other than that, nothing.
9. Brayan Pena: C-plus. He followed Infante’s single with one of his own to get Detroit going after the stretch. Pena also mimicked Infante’s 1-for-4 with a K.
1. Don Kelly: F. Why was Kelly in the game in the first place? Jim Leyland was so desperate to get that lefty-righty matchup he covets that he pulled Tuiasosopo, despite Tuiasosopo’s earlier homer. Kelly then promptly fouled out to third on the first pitch he saw from Tommy Hunter.
1. Justin Verlander: D. The home runs, especially to sluggers like J.J. Hardy and Adam Jones, will happen on a night when the ball’s jumping a bit. There’s no excuse, however, for the four walks Verlander gave up in five innings en route to 102 pitches and a short outing. He deserved the loss he took.
2. Darin Downs: A-minus. Leyland doesn’t use Downs often, but the lefty continues to deliver whenever he gets a chance. Picking up the slack for Verlander, Downs went 1.1 innings and allowed just one hit.
3. Luke Putkonen: A. Putkonen gave the Tigers 1.2 much-needed innings, striking out one and allowing one hit.
4. Phil Coke: A. The game was nearly out of reach when Coke came on in the ninth, but he did his job with a 1-2-3 inning.