Justin Verlander scratched from start against Indians with stiff back

Wednesday June 24th, 2015

Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander will not pitch in his scheduled start Wednesday against the Cleveland Indians because of back stiffness.

Verlander said that he experienced stiffness in his start last Saturday against the New York YankeesIn that game, Verlander gave up six runs in 6.2 innings, including allowing a homer by Yankees designated hitter Alex Rodriguez for his 3,000th career hit.

"It fatigued a little bit on me in the game in New York," Verlander said to MLB.com. "I felt it a little bit, but once I got loose it was O.K., and I think I'd be able to do the same thing this start. But that being said, you also don't want to put your team in a bind."

Right-hander Buck Farmer was called up from Triple-A Toledo to start Wednesday’s game, and pitcher Ian Krol was optioned to Toledo in a corresponding roster move.

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Verlander didn't pitch until mid-June because of a right triceps injury and is 0-1 with a 6.17 ERA in his two starts this season.

Verlander, a former American League Cy Young Award winner and AL Most Valuable Player, said he hopes that he will be able to pitch during this weekend’s series against the Chicago White Sox.

"I think it's really close. We were all optimistic that I would be able to make my start [today]. It just kind of lingered a hair longer than we thought, trying to get over the hump," he said. "In talking with our trainers and our coaching staff, they just don't really think at this point that it's worth it to push it and risk further injury."

Detroit (37-34) has won three games in a row and sit 4.5 games back of the Kansas City Royals in the AL Central.

- Scooby Axson

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