Bad news for the Athletics: Justin Verlander has another run to work with.
Sonny Gray was pulled from the game after he gave up back-to-back singles to Victor Martinez and Jhonny Peralta to begin the top of the sixth inning. He was relieved by Dan Otero, who got Victor Martinez to ground into a fielder’s choice for the first out of the inning. Josh Donaldson then snagged a ground ball off the bat of Omar Infante and attempted to start an inning-ending double play, but second baseman Alberto Callaspo bobbled the ball on the transfer and was unable to make a throw to first base. As a result, Martinez was able to score to extend the Tigers’ lead to 3-0.
Verlander will carry his perfect game into the bottom of the sixth inning in this win-or-go-home Game 5.
Per The Athletic’s Matt Gelb, Phillies starter Zack Wheeler will miss at least two starts when his wife goes into labor and gives birth to their first child, expected to be later this month. Wheeler, in fact, is not sure if he will return to play at all once their child is born.
Wheeler said, “We just have to see how things are here at the field and at the stadium. I’m happy with what I see so far. But things could change, especially once our baby’s born. I always think about what’s going on around me. Is it safe? Is it OK? Literally every single day. I have to just ask myself that. I’m going to continue to keep asking myself that every day.”
Wheeler, 30, inked a five-year, $118 million contract with the Phillies in December. He is slated for the No. 2 spot in the rotation behind Aaron Nola. Last season, with the Mets, Wheeler posted a 3.96 ERA with 195 strikeouts and 50 walks over 195 1/3 innings.
The No. 5 spot in the Phillies’ rotation is currently up for grabs between Nick Pivetta, Vince Velasquez, Ranger Suárez, and prospect Spencer Howard. One of the remaining three could fill in for Wheeler when he needs time off, temporarily or otherwise.