Twins finally beat Verlander, edge Tigers 2-1
DETROIT (AP) — Phil Hughes pitched seven scoreless innings, and the Minnesota Twins beat Justin Verlander for the first time in over four years, 2-1 on Friday night.
Kurt Suzuki hit a two-run single off Verlander (4-2) in the seventh to lift Minnesota. Hughes (4-1) allowed eight hits in his fourth consecutive win.
Hughes threw 86 pitches, and then gave way to the bullpen. Casey Fien pitched the eighth, and Glen Perkins allowed a run in the ninth but held on for his ninth save in 10 chances.
Verlander allowed two runs and seven hits in seven innings. He struck out five and walked two.
The start of the game was delayed 27 minutes by rain.
The injury-plagued Twins snapped a three-game losing streak. Star first baseman Joe Mauer sat out a fifth straight game. He’s been dealing with back spasms.
In the top of the ninth, players paused when an emergency alarm briefly went off at Comerica Park. The game continued, and fans were not told to evacuate or given any further instructions, indicating that perhaps it was a false alarm. The public address system was not used for the rest of the game.
Alex Avila hit an RBI double off Perkins with one out in the ninth, but pinch-hitter J.D. Martinez popped out and Rajai Davis struck out to end it.
Hughes lost 14 games last season for the New York Yankees, but the right-hander has pitched well since signing with the Twins in the offseason. He struck out Avila with men on first and third in the fourth, and got Miguel Cabrera to fly out with two on and two out in the fifth.
Verlander escaped jams in the second and third, but he couldn’t retire Suzuki with the game on the line in the seventh. It was his first loss in his last 10 decisions against the Twins. The last time they beat him was April 27, 2010.
Minnesota is also without outfielder Josh Willingham, who has a left wrist contusion, but the Twins were able to beat the Tigers without any extra-base hits.
NOTES: It began to rain hard in the top of the fifth, but there were no more delays once the game started. … Detroit’s Victor Martinez had his hitting streak snapped at 11 games. … Hughes threw 13 straight strikes to start the game. … The Tigers transferred the injury rehab assignment of RHP Luke Putkonen (right elbow) from Class A West Michigan to Triple-A Toledo. … Detroit’s Max Scherzer (4-1) faces Minnesota’s Kyle Gibson (3-2) on Saturday.