Justin Verlander collects first RBI

KANSAS CITY, MO - JULY 17: Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander (35) before an AL Central game between the Detroit Tigers and Kansas City Royals on July 17, 2017 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, MO. (Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire)
Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire

Coors Field has always been billed as a ball park that has inflated offensive statistics due to thin air and quirky dimensions in the outfield. Sometimes, the stadium benefits pitchers at the plate, too.

With the Detroit Tigers in town for an interleague clash on Wednesday, right-handed starter Justin Verlander didn’t have the luxury of a designated hitter inserted in the Tigers lineup.

No problem for Verlander, who recorded his first RBI when he scattered a two-out, RBI single in the top of the second inning off of Rockies pitcher Chad Bettis.

The GIF from the Tigers’ Twitter account sums it up.

Verlander, who has pitched exclusively for the Tigers over his professional career and rarely gets his opportunities to stroll to the dish, entered the afternoon 0-for-3 with three strikeouts in his previous three at-bats this season. Prior to the game, he had been 3-for-40 at the plate with 20 strikeouts over his career.

It took a while for Verlander to record his first hit; it in fact took him a decade to record hit No. 1 after starting 0-for-35 in his first nine seasons as a hitter.

The veteran right-hander’s record is nothing to write home about — he’s 9-8 on the season — but he’s done well this year outside of the win-loss record, and for a club with no intentions of making the postseason.

He entered the day with 167 strikeouts over 166 innings and a 9.1 K/9 and has accrued a 3.6 WAR with still some season left to play.

The Rockies and Tigers played the rubber match of a three-game set on Wednesday.

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