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Verlander disappointed by day off due to rain

04/27/2014, 6:17pm EDT
By ASSOCIATED PRESS
Tigers game against Twins rained out

MINNEAPOLIS — Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander isn't thrilled that he got Sunday off, but he had no choice.

Verlander was scheduled to start for the Tigers against Minnesota before the game was postponed because of heavy rain. No makeup date has been announced.

Verlander (3-1) has won nine straight decisions against the Twins. He's also 4-0 with a 1.89 ERA in six starts at Target Field.

The dominating right-hander is now scheduled to pitch Tuesday's night series opener in Chicago against the White Sox after a week off.

"I just feel like five days is enough time where every time I go out there it's boom, boom, boom. It's like muscle memory, it's getting in there," Verlander said. "We've had so many off-days, we've had a plethora of six-day rests and I absolutely don't want it."

Neither does Detroit manager Brad Ausmus.

"The off-days and the rain days has killed our rotation," Ausmus said. The Tigers have had three postponed games and three off-days in the season's first month.

"No one can get any type of rhythm," he added. "Guys are going on five days' rest, four days' rest, six days' rest. ... Rhythm gets you in a comfort zone mentally."

On the plus side, Detroit's bullpen got a much-needed rest. Three relievers logged a combined 5 1/​3 innings in Saturday's 5-3 defeat after starter Anibal Sanchez left in the third inning with a blister on his right middle finger. Sanchez was put on the 15-day disabled list.

The Tigers' bullpen has a collective 5.65 ERA, having allowed 41 earned runs in 65 1/​3 innings.

"It's good in a sense that in the last couple days our bullpen has been taxed and now everyone gets two days off. ... We have enough guys that could use rest," Ausmus said, citing Phil Coke, Jose Ortega, and Al Alburquerque as examples.

Closer Joe Nathan, who pitched Friday, said the rest is nice, but the relievers probably don't need two days off.

"Tomorrow would have been plenty of time to recover for Tuesday. Then we have another off day on Thursday," he said. "We'd have rather gotten this in because we still got to make this thing up, meaning a doubleheader or playing on a day off."

NOTES: This is the 10th rainout in Target Field history and second this season. ... Minnesota 3B Trevor Plouffe, who left Saturday's game with a bruised left triceps after being hit by a pitch, was scheduled to start. ... Detroit C Alex Avila was going to return to the Tigers' lineup. He hurt his shin sliding into home plate on Friday. ... Both teams are off today. ... Minnesota is scheduled to face the Dodgers' Zack Greinke (4-0, 2.45) on Tuesday. ... Chicago's Jose Quintana (1-2, 3.90) is scheduled to start against Detroit on Tuesday.

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