Verlander saluted back at Comerica, Astros beat Tigers 3-2

DETROIT (AP) Justin Verlander knew this would be one of the most emotional games of his major league career.

He still wasn't prepared.

In his return to Detroit, Verlander received three standing ovations while pitching the Houston Astros to a 3-2 victory over the Tigers on Monday night.

Verlander (15-9) made his major league debut with the Tigers in 2005 and ranks among the top 10 on several of the team's career lists. He struck out 10 over seven innings in his first time on the Comerica Park mound since being traded to Houston in August 2017.

''Our hotel is right near my old house, so I got to spend some time in the neighborhood today,'' he said. ''I was trying to keep my routine as much as possible.''

That hope ended early, as the scoreboard played a tribute video as Verlander was walking in from the bullpen after his pregame warmups. He stopped, alone in shallow right-center field, and watched the entire show.

''It was almost normal until the tribute video, but that really got to me,'' he said. ''I had a lot of great memories in my 13 years here, and that brought it all back. I wanted to get to the dugout before it started, but once it started playing, I had to watch.''

Verlander received his first ovation at the end of the video, and another when he came out for the first inning. Each time, he tipped his cap and waved to the fans.

The longest cheer, though, came when he walked off the mound after the seventh, having thrown 104 pitches.

''The one after the seventh really meant the world to me,'' he said. ''The fans here were always great to be here, and they showed that again tonight. That was a really emotional moment.''

The crowd was announced at 19,711 - the Detroit Lions opened their season next door Monday night against the New York Jets.

''Tonight mattered a lot to him,'' Astros manager AJ Hinch said. ''It is important to him that he pitched here and succeeded here, so it was special for him to get back on that mound.''

The World Series champion Astros opened a three-game lead over Oakland atop the AL West despite a sloppy game that came after a Sunday night loss in Boston.

''I'm proud of our guys, because there was a lot going on today, and we didn't play our best game, but we still found a way to pull out a win,'' Hinch said.

Verlander allowed two runs on six hits and one walk, improving to 98-50 at Comerica Park. Max Scherzer is second in career wins at the stadium with 46, while Jordan Zimmermann leads current Tigers with 14.

''He got exactly the response he deserved from our fans,'' Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said. ''He was a great pitcher here for a long time, and he did a lot of great things for this city.''

The Tigers put two runners on in the seventh, but Verlander struck out JaCoby Jones and Jeimer Candelario to escape with a 3-2 lead. He tipped his cap again as the fans came to their feet after the final pitch to Candelario.

''This was a special night,'' Verlander said.

Roberto Osuna worked the ninth for his 16th save, including seven with Houston.

Francisco Liriano (4-10) allowed three unearned runs on four hits and four walks in six innings. He struck out seven in his longest outing since pitching six innings on July 4.

The Tigers took the lead in the second. Niko Goodrum doubled and later scored on a single by Dawel Lugo.

Liriano's wild pitch and an error by shortstop Ronny Rodriguez allowed the Astros to score three unearned runs in the third. Tyler White and Marwin Gonzalez hit RBI singles, while the Tigers failed to turn two potential double plays.

''You have to make plays,'' Gardenhire said. ''When you miss plays, that's what always happens. We had a chance to get some outs, didn't do it, and it cost us runs.''

Verlander settled down after the second, retiring the next nine batters. Candelario walked to start the sixth, Christin Stewart followed with his first major league hit and Nicholas Castellanos had a sacrifice fly.

''If someone had told me that I was going to get my first hit off Justin Verlander in my first major league start . geez,'' Stewart said. ''It was a pretty out-of-body experience.''

Castellanos made a leaping catch at the right field fence to take an extra-base hit away from Gonzalez in the eighth.

Josh Reddick, in the game for Houston as a defensive replacement, started an inning-ending double play in the eighth with a sliding catch in left field.

EARLY START

The game started at 6:10 p.m., an hour earlier than originally scheduled, to try to ease traffic congestion with the Lions playing at Ford Field. A day game wasn't possible because of the Astros playing on Sunday night in Boston.

UP NEXT

The teams continue their three-game series Tuesday night with Zimmermann (7-6, 4.03 ERA) facing Houston's Framber Valdez (3-1, 1.37).

Copyright 2018 by AP. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of AP is strictly prohibited.

123456789RHE
HOU90-54
003000000351
DET59-85
010001000271
  • W: J. Verlander (15-9)L: F. Liriano (4-10)S: R. Osuna (16)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
G. Springer RF41000120.259.341.431.7721.0
J. Altuve 2B40100001.317.382.452.8341.0
A. Bregman 3B31000103.297.400.559.9592.0
T. White 1B31210111.308.389.610.9994.5
J. Reddick PR-LF00000000.241.311.382.6930.0
C. Correa SS40100023.243.325.411.7360.0
M. Gonzalez LF-1B40110003.247.322.413.7362.0
E. Gattis DH30000113.229.286.473.7590.5
M. Maldonado C40000011.224.279.362.641-0.5
J. Marisnick CF40000020.202.260.383.643-1.0
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    J. Candelario 3B31000132.227.315.405.7200.5
    C. Stewart LF40100020.200.200.200.4000.0
    N. Castellanos RF30210000.297.353.492.8454.0
    V. Martinez DH40000013.247.293.348.642-0.5
    N. Goodrum 1B41100001.236.311.431.7423.0
    R. Rodriguez SS30100010.221.258.342.6000.5
    a- J. Adduci PH10000000.287.312.412.7240.0
    J. McCann C40100012.220.268.313.5820.5
    D. Lugo 2B30110011.275.326.350.6761.5
    J. Jones CF30000024.206.260.370.630-1.0
    • a-grounded out for Rodriguez in the 9th
    BATTING
    • RBI - T. White (35), M. Gonzalez (60)
    • 2-Out RBI - T. White (16), M. Gonzalez (25)
    • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - T. White, M. Gonzalez 2 (2), E. Gattis 3 (3), M. Maldonado
    BATTING
    • 2B - N. Castellanos (40), N. Goodrum (27)
    • SF - N. Castellanos
    • RBI - N. Castellanos (79), D. Lugo (5)
    • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - J. Candelario 2 (2), V. Martinez, N. Goodrum
    FIELDING
    • Outfield Assist - J. Reddick (9)
    • DP - 2 (Bregman-Altuve; Reddick-Correa-Gonzalez)
    • E - A. Bregman (15)
    FIELDING
    • E - R. Rodriguez (7)
    PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
    J. Verlander (W, 15-9)7.062211002.720.9427.0
    R. Pressly (H, 16)1.01000102.761.152.5
    R. Osuna (S, 16)1.00000002.511.0510.0
    PITCHERSIP
    J. Verlander (W, 15-9)7.0
    R. Pressly (H, 16)1.0
    R. Osuna (S, 16)1.0
    PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
    F. Liriano (L, 4-10)6.04304704.651.5311.5
    D. VerHagen1.00000004.761.163.0
    A. Wilson1.01000003.511.102.0
    J. Jimenez1.00000204.341.194.0
    PITCHERSIP
    F. Liriano (L, 4-10)6.0
    D. VerHagen1.0
    A. Wilson1.0
    J. Jimenez1.0
    PITCHING
    • Pitches-Strikes - J. Verlander 104-77, R. Pressly 9-7, R. Osuna 9-7
    • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Verlander 2-9, R. Osuna 3-0
    • Batters Faced - J. Verlander 28, R. Pressly 3, R. Osuna 3
    PITCHING
    • WP - F. Liriano (9)
    • Pitches-Strikes - F. Liriano 85-56, D. VerHagen 14-8, A. Wilson 15-10, J. Jimenez 12-11
    • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - F. Liriano 6-6, D. VerHagen 1-2, A. Wilson 2-1, J. Jimenez 1-0
    • Batters Faced - F. Liriano 27, D. VerHagen 3, A. Wilson 4, J. Jimenez 3
    PLAYERS OF THE GAME
    123456789RHE
    HOU90-54
    003000000351
    DET59-85
    010001000271
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    G. Springer RF41000120.259.341.431.7721.0
    J. Altuve 2B40100001.317.382.452.8341.0
    A. Bregman 3B31000103.297.400.559.9592.0
    T. White 1B31210111.308.389.610.9994.5
    J. Reddick PR-LF00000000.241.311.382.6930.0
    C. Correa SS40100023.243.325.411.7360.0
    M. Gonzalez LF-1B40110003.247.322.413.7362.0
    E. Gattis DH30000113.229.286.473.7590.5
    M. Maldonado C40000011.224.279.362.641-0.5
    J. Marisnick CF40000020.202.260.383.643-1.0
    Total3335204915-----
      HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
      J. Candelario 3B31000132.227.315.405.7200.5
      C. Stewart LF40100020.200.200.200.4000.0
      N. Castellanos RF30210000.297.353.492.8454.0
      V. Martinez DH40000013.247.293.348.642-0.5
      N. Goodrum 1B41100001.236.311.431.7423.0
      R. Rodriguez SS30100010.221.258.342.6000.5
      a- J. Adduci PH10000000.287.312.412.7240.0
      J. McCann C40100012.220.268.313.5820.5
      D. Lugo 2B30110011.275.326.350.6761.5
      J. Jones CF30000024.206.260.370.630-1.0
      Total32272011113-----
      • a-grounded out for Rodriguez in the 9th
      BATTING
      • RBI - T. White (35), M. Gonzalez (60)
      • 2-Out RBI - T. White (16), M. Gonzalez (25)
      • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - T. White, M. Gonzalez 2 (2), E. Gattis 3 (3), M. Maldonado
      BATTING
      • 2B - N. Castellanos (40), N. Goodrum (27)
      • SF - N. Castellanos
      • RBI - N. Castellanos (79), D. Lugo (5)
      • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - J. Candelario 2 (2), V. Martinez, N. Goodrum
      FIELDING
      • Outfield Assist - J. Reddick (9)
      • DP - 2 (Bregman-Altuve; Reddick-Correa-Gonzalez)
      • E - A. Bregman (15)
      FIELDING
      • E - R. Rodriguez (7)
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      J. Verlander (W, 15-9)7.062211002.720.9427.0
      R. Pressly (H, 16)1.01000102.761.152.5
      R. Osuna (S, 16)1.00000002.511.0510.0
      Total9.07221110---
      PITCHERSIP
      J. Verlander (W, 15-9)7.0
      R. Pressly (H, 16)1.0
      R. Osuna (S, 16)1.0
      Total9.0
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      F. Liriano (L, 4-10)6.04304704.651.5311.5
      D. VerHagen1.00000004.761.163.0
      A. Wilson1.01000003.511.102.0
      J. Jimenez1.00000204.341.194.0
      Total9.0530490---
      PITCHERSIP
      F. Liriano (L, 4-10)6.0
      D. VerHagen1.0
      A. Wilson1.0
      J. Jimenez1.0
      Total9.0
      PITCHING
      • Pitches-Strikes - J. Verlander 104-77, R. Pressly 9-7, R. Osuna 9-7
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Verlander 2-9, R. Osuna 3-0
      • Batters Faced - J. Verlander 28, R. Pressly 3, R. Osuna 3
      PITCHING
      • WP - F. Liriano (9)
      • Pitches-Strikes - F. Liriano 85-56, D. VerHagen 14-8, A. Wilson 15-10, J. Jimenez 12-11
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - F. Liriano 6-6, D. VerHagen 1-2, A. Wilson 2-1, J. Jimenez 1-0
      • Batters Faced - F. Liriano 27, D. VerHagen 3, A. Wilson 4, J. Jimenez 3
      • 6TH INNING
        Castellanos hit sacrifice fly to center, Candelario scored32
      • 3RD INNING
        Gonzalez singled to left center, White scored, Correa to third31
        White singled to shallow center, Bregman scored21
        Springer scored, Bregman to second on wild pitch11
      • 2ND INNING
        Lugo singled to left, Goodrum scored, Rodriguez to second01
      • 9TH INNING
        • Joe Jimenez relieved Alex Wilson
        • M. Maldonado: Foul, Strike looking, Foul tip, Maldonado struck out on foul tip
        • J. Marisnick: Strike looking, Marisnick grounded out to second
        • G. Springer: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Springer struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 9th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • Roberto Osuna relieved Ryan Pressly
        • N. Goodrum: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Goodrum grounded out to first
        • Jim Adduci hit for Ronny Rodriguez
        • J. Adduci: Ball, Strike swinging, Adduci grounded out to shortstop
        • J. McCann: Strike swinging, McCann grounded out to first
        • End of the 9th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 8TH INNING
        • Alex Wilson relieved Drew VerHagen
        • T. White: Ball, Foul, Foul, White singled to right
        • Josh Reddick ran for Tyler White
        • C. Correa: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Correa grounded out to third, Reddick to second
        • M. Gonzalez: Foul, Foul, Gonzalez flied out to deep right, Reddick to third
        • E. Gattis: Ball, Gattis grounded out to shortstop
        • Middle of the 8th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • Ryan Pressly relieved Justin Verlander
        • C. Stewart: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Strike swinging, Stewart struck out swinging
        • N. Castellanos: Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Castellanos reached on an infield single to shortstop
        • V. Martinez: Martinez lined out to left, Castellanos out at first
        • End of the 8th (0 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 7TH INNING
        • Drew VerHagen relieved Francisco Liriano
        • G. Springer: Strike looking, Springer grounded out to third
        • J. Altuve: Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Foul, Altuve popped out to shortstop
        • A. Bregman: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Ball, Bregman flied out to right
        • Middle of the 7th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • J. Verlander Pitching:
        • R. Rodriguez: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Rodriguez flied out to center
        • J. McCann: Strike looking, McCann singled to shallow left
        • D. Lugo: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Foul, Lugo reached on fielder's choice to third, McCann to second on 3rd baseman Bregman throwing error
        • J. Jones: Foul, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Jones struck out swinging
        • J. Candelario: Foul, Foul, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Candelario struck out swinging
        • End of the 7th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 1 Error)
      • 6TH INNING
        • F. Liriano Pitching:
        • E. Gattis: Strike looking, Foul, Strike swinging, Gattis struck out swinging
        • M. Maldonado: Strike looking, Strike looking, Maldonado grounded out to shortstop
        • J. Marisnick: Marisnick grounded bunt out to pitcher
        • Middle of the 6th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • J. Verlander Pitching:
        • J. Candelario: Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Candelario walked
        • C. Stewart: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Stewart singled to right, Candelario to third
        • N. Castellanos: Ball, Strike swinging, Castellanos hit sacrifice fly to center, Candelario scored
        • V. Martinez: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Martinez struck out swinging
        • N. Goodrum: Ball, Strike swinging, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Goodrum popped out to third
        • End of the 6th (1 Run, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
      • 5TH INNING
        • F. Liriano Pitching:
        • J. Altuve: Altuve reached on bunt single to second
        • A. Bregman: Strike looking, Bregman flied out to right
        • T. White: Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, White walked, Altuve to second
        • C. Correa: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Correa struck out swinging
        • M. Gonzalez: Foul, Gonzalez lined out to second
        • Middle of the 5th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • J. Verlander Pitching:
        • J. McCann: Foul, McCann popped out to second
        • D. Lugo: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Foul tip, Lugo struck out on foul tip
        • J. Jones: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Jones struck out swinging
        • End of the 5th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 4TH INNING
        • F. Liriano Pitching:
        • M. Maldonado: Strike swinging, Maldonado grounded out to third
        • J. Marisnick: Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Marisnick struck out swinging
        • G. Springer: Foul, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Springer lined out to right
        • Middle of the 4th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • J. Verlander Pitching:
        • V. Martinez: Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Martinez grounded out to first
        • N. Goodrum: Strike looking, Foul, Goodrum flied out to deep right
        • R. Rodriguez: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Rodriguez struck out swinging
        • End of the 4th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 3RD INNING
        • F. Liriano Pitching:
        • J. Marisnick: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Marisnick struck out swinging
        • G. Springer: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Springer walked
        • J. Altuve: Pickoff attempt, Foul, Altuve reached on fielder's choice to shortstop, Springer to second on 2nd baseman Rodriguez fielding error
        • A. Bregman: Bregman reached on fielder's choice to third, Springer to third, Altuve out at second
        • T. White: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Springer scored, Bregman to second on wild pitch, Ball, Strike looking, White singled to shallow center, Bregman scored
        • C. Correa: Correa reached on an infield single to shortstop, White to second
        • M. Gonzalez: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Gonzalez singled to left center, White scored, Correa to third
        • E. Gattis: Gattis flied out to shallow left
        • Middle of the 3rd (3 Runs, 3 Hits, 1 Error)
        • J. Verlander Pitching:
        • J. Candelario: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Strike looking, Candelario struck out looking
        • C. Stewart: Foul, Strike swinging, Strike looking, Stewart struck out looking
        • N. Castellanos: Ball, Castellanos flied out to deep right
        • End of the 3rd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 2ND INNING
        • F. Liriano Pitching:
        • C. Correa: Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Correa struck out swinging
        • M. Gonzalez: Gonzalez flied out to deep center
        • E. Gattis: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Gattis walked
        • M. Maldonado: Strike looking, Maldonado lined out to third
        • Middle of the 2nd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • J. Verlander Pitching:
        • N. Goodrum: Goodrum doubled to right
        • R. Rodriguez: Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Rodriguez reached on an infield single to first, Goodrum to third
        • J. McCann: Strike (foul tip), Pickoff attempt to first, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, McCann struck out swinging
        • D. Lugo: Foul, Pickoff attempt to first, Lugo singled to left, Goodrum scored, Rodriguez to second
        • J. Jones: Jones lined out to third, Rodriguez out at second
        • End of the 2nd (1 Run, 3 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 1ST INNING
        • F. Liriano Pitching:
        • G. Springer: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Foul, Foul, Foul tip, Springer struck out on foul tip
        • J. Altuve: Altuve grounded out to pitcher
        • A. Bregman: Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Bregman walked
        • T. White: Strike looking, Foul, Strike looking, White struck out looking
        • Middle of the 1st (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • J. Verlander Pitching:
        • J. Candelario: Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Foul tip, Candelario struck out on foul tip
        • C. Stewart: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Stewart lined out to center
        • N. Castellanos: Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Castellanos doubled to shallow left
        • V. Martinez: Foul, Martinez popped out to shortstop
        • End of the 1st (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)