Ben Verlander may have missed the opportunity to tease his older brother, Justin.
After all, now there might be TWO hitters in the family.
Justin Verlander got his first two career hits in Saturday’s game, after coming into the contest 0-for-26 in his career.
Little brother should’ve taken his shots when he had the chance.
Last spring, when Ben went on a home run tear at Old Dominion
— part of what eventually got him drafted by the Tigers
— Justin knew that he might get teased by his sibling about the difference in their respective hitting prowess.
“No, not yet. I’m sure I’ll get it,” Justin Verlander wryly admitted at the time, recalling the phone conversation with his father during his brother’s three-homer game last spring. “I was getting updates from my dad. ... So I call, and I’m like ‘What the (heck)? This has to be a different experience for you, rooting for home runs.’ He was like, ‘Yeah, no kidding. This is totally different.’ ”
The family hasn’t had the opportunity to cheer for hits by Justin, not for a long time.
“I was all right (at hitting) in high school,” he said.
He’d never reached base in 35 plate appearances over 10 years of interleague play, going hitless, with nine sacrifices to his credit.
Then came Saturday against Padres starter Ian Kennedy. Verlander singled right back through the box — rolling it over the mound, between Kennedy’s legs — with two outs in the second inning. (CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO
"A hit! A HIT! JUSTIN GOT A HIT!" Ben Verlander tweeted
His very next plate appearance, in the fourth, Verlander singled to right with one out in the fourth (and was nearly thrown out by Padres right fielder Chris Denorfia, who was playing shallow.)
"He's a hitting MACHINE! #TipsFromLittleBro" tweeted Ben Verlander
, who is hitting .270 in nine games at Class A West Michigan.
In his fourth at-bat, Verlander grounded out to second base.