Justin Verlander looked just a little too normal on Friday night. The Detroit Tigers lefty and incumbent American League Cy Young Award winner allowed four runs through six innings, and the Tigers lost to the Tampa Bay Rays by a final score of 4-2.
Verlander tossed his glove into the dugout, walking off the field after throwing 120 pitches. The most uncharacteristic aspect of the ace's night: three home runs allowed. Prior to the game he had allowed only 10 in 17 starts this season. In four prior outings at the Trop in Tampa, Verlander had allowed only two round trippers, and this was the first time in his career that he allowed a long ball in three consecutive innings. It was Verlander's fifth loss of the season.
Rays starter David Price looked every bit like the ace he has been for his team. He struck out seven through seven innings and gave up just five hits, including a solo shot to Delmon Young in the fifth. Price picked up his 11th win.
Detroit won the series opener on Thursday. Friday's loss gives them a 4-6 record in their last 10 games.
The Tigers get another chance on Saturday at 7:15 p.m. Eastern.