MINNEAPOLIS: You wouldn’t think the light-hitting Indians (not just this year) could cause so much grief for a premier pitcher, but Thursday night’s 5-3 Detroit Tigers loss is far from the first time the Tribe has given Justin Verlander a hard time.
He has more losses against the Indians (he’s 13-13) than any other opponent. The Tribe has amassed the most hits (161), doubles (36) and walks (69) of any Verlander opponent. But he also has more strikeouts against the Waving Wahoos (208) than any other team.
In 2009 and 2010, Verlander posted a 10-2 record against the Tribe, but in 2008 he was 1-5 with a 6.49 ERA and this season he is 0-2 with a 4.20 ERA.
His career ERA against the Indians is 4.77 in 29 games. By comparison, he is 13-10 with a 4.05 ERA against the Chicago White Sox and 4-4 with a 4.17 ERA against the Yankees.
The Tribe is No. 2 on the Verlander home run-allowed list with 22, compared to 27 for the White Sox and only 10 for the Yankees.
HERNANDEZ UPDATE — Manager Manny Acta received favorable reports on Roberto Hernandez’s first rehabilitation start at Lake County Thursday night.
“They liked the way he threw,” Acta said. “His fastball was 89-93 and he kept the ball down. He worked five innings [66 pitches] without any issues.”
Hernandez’s next start will be Tuesday, but it’s uncertain where he will pitch.
“They would like to get him up to 100 pitches [eventually],” Acta said. “But that doesn’t mean he would throw 100 pitches up here in his first outing.”
Hernandez is eligible to pitch for the Tribe Aug. 11, after he serves a three-week suspension.
SETBACK FOR PEREZ — Acta reported that Rafael Perez (strained lat) suffered a setback in his last rehab outing.
“He has a little shoulder fatigue,” Acta said. “He had another MRI and it showed great improvement. There were no issues. But we’ll shut him down for three to five days.”
Perez seemed close to getting off the disabled list when the shoulder problem arose.
FARM FACTS — Tim Fedroff hit his fifth and sixth home runs of the year and singled, driving in six runs, as Columbus routed Toledo 16-2 in Class AAA. Jared Goedert had three doubles and a single and Chris Seddon (11-5, 3.44 ERA) gave up two runs and six hits in six innings. … Claudio Bautista homered and drove in four runs, as the Arizona League Indians defeated the Padres 5-4.
— Sheldon Ocker