Tigers try to rebound in Pittsburgh
(SportsNetwork.com) - So much for rested bullpens.
The Detroit Tigers used seven relief pitchers in a 19-inning loss on Sunday and figured Justin Verlander could eat some innings as a starter on Monday.
Instead, the former Cy Young Award winner was gone by the end of the second inning thanks to a sore shoulder, leaving the Tigers to head into Tuesday's second game with the Pittsburgh Pirates in familiar fatigued territory.
Detroit sends youngster Robbie Ray to the mound at PNC Park for the finale of a two-game set with the Pirates, with both teams now holding second place in their respective American and National League Central Divisions. The teams will meet again for two games in Detroit, beginning on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Verlander will have an MRI prior to Tuesday's game.
"The ball wasn't really coming out of his hand," manager Brad Ausmus said. "So after watching him finish the inning I decided I didn't want to risk him getting seriously injured."
Detroit had recalled three relievers from Triple-A Toledo before Monday's game and all three followed Verlander to the mound after his early exit. Monday's loss dropped the Tigers a half-game behind streaking Kansas City in the AL Central and was their fifth in six games.
Ray, a rookie, takes the rotation place of Anibal Sanchez while making his first big-league appearance since allowing seven runs in less than four innings of a 9-2 loss to Texas in May. In two prior starts with the Tigers, he'd allowed a single run in 11 1/3 innings.
In 19 games at Toledo, he's 7-5 with a 3.72 earned run average.
First-year players haven't fared so well against the Pirates, going 1-5 with a 3.48 in 12 starts.
Veteran Edinson Volquez gets the call for Pittsburgh after a Thursday outing in which he gave up one hit in seven innings of a 7-2 win against Miami. The outing ended a sluggish streak in which the former All-Star has posted a 5.74 ERA in three turns.
He's 0-2 lifetime against Detroit, but hasn't faced them in seven years.
Volquez was an 8-1 winner over Tampa Bay in his last interleague start in June, but is just 5-7 with a 5.04 ERA in his last 15 starts against the American League.
On Monday, Starling Marte's three-run triple highlighted a five-run opening inning against Verlander, and the Pirates rolled to an 11-6 victory.
Verlander has never been on the disabled list and has never missed a start due to injury. He was charged with four hits and four earned runs, while walking two and fanning three. His ERA climbed to 4.76.
Travis Snider belted a pair of homers and drove in four runs, while Russell Martin and Ike Davis smacked back-to-back home runs for the Pirates.
08/12 11:03:50 ET