One that got away.
Royals 5, Tigers 2
With one game left before the break, the Tigers were poised to sweep the Royals in KC and wind up 8.5 games up in the division. Justin Verlander (20 GS, 129 IP, 4.88 ERA, 4.01 FIP, 1.9 fWAR) looked very solid early, retiring 9 of the first 10 batters he faced and keeping the Royals off the board for the first 6 innings but a couple of clean hits and a few BABIP singles opened the door in the 7th by the time the bullpen had done their thing, the Tigers were trailing 5-2 and Verlander had allowed four runs. He punched out only three and walked just one, but generally performed well for the majority of the game. These are the kind of outings that wouldn’t stress you out if you weren’t thinking about the ones where he actually struggled as well. The bats nabbed a couple of runs and JD Martinez played some nifty defense to cap off his great half, but the Tigers couldn’t rally in the late innings and end the first half with a 53-38 record and a 6.5 game lead in the AL Central. We’ll see a few Tigers in Minnesota on Tuesday and then Anibal Sanchez (16 GS, 94.2 IP, 3.04 ERA, 2.95 FIP, 2.4 fWAR) taking the ball on Friday.
The Moment: JD Martinez makes a pair of terrific grab s in RF.