Justin Verlander leaves with triceps cramping in Tigers' 4-1 rain-shortened loss to Blue Jays

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DUNEDIN, Florida — Justin Verlander left with cramping in his right triceps Friday during the third inning of the Detroit Tigers' 4-1 rain-shortened loss to the Toronto Blue Jays.

The game was called in the bottom of the fifth.

Verlander will be evaluated Saturday but fully expects to make his next scheduled start. He walked off the field soon after he called team trainers to the mound.

"I don't think I'm injured," Verlander said. "The only concern I have is if it would linger. Just felt crampy."

Kyle Ryan replaced Verlander, who allowed one run and one hit over 2 2-3 innings.

"Not overly concerned," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "He said it felt like more of a cramp than a strain. It doesn't mean we're out of the woods. It's not as concerning of an area."

Verlander believes not drinking enough water before the game and a further arm extension from his revised mechanics may have contributed.

"I've never felt anything like that before, but it doesn't seem like anything serious," Verlander said. "I kind of sensed what it was."

Kyle Ryan replaced Verlander, who allowed one run and one hit over 2 2-3 innings.

Drew Hutchison, in the mix to start the Blue Jays' opener April 6 against the New York Yankees, gave up one run and four hits in five innings. He just missed making a diving catch near the third base line on Hernan Perez's third-inning bunt single.

Dalton Pompey had two-out solo homer off Verlander in the second.

Drew Hutchison, in the mix to start the Blue Jays' opener April 6 against the New York Yankees, gave up one run and four hits in five innings. He just missed making a diving catch near the third base line on Hernan Perez's third-inning bunt single.

STARTING TIME

Tigers: Before the injury, Verlander had his fastball reach 96 mph in what Ausmus said was the "best" he'd seen him pitch. "I thought that was the best my stuff looked in a long time," said Verlander.

Blue Jays: Hutchison had six strikeouts and one walk.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Tigers: 1B Miguel Cabrera (right foot-ankle) and DH Victor Martinez (knee surgery) didn't make the trip after both homered in Thursday's game against Baltimore. ... Ausmus expects closer Joe Nathan (cut thumb) to make his next scheduled appearance in a couple days.

Blue Jays: Edwin Encarnacion was the DH for the second straight day and went 0 for 2. He missed 16 days due to back inflammation, and could play in the field Saturday. ... Closer Brett Cecil (shoulder) is scheduled to pitch consecutive days Sunday and Monday.

UP NEXT

Tigers: RHP Shane Greene will go against St. Louis RHP Lance Lynn Saturday.

Blue Jays: RHP Marco Estrada is Saturday's scheduled starter against Atlanta LHP Alex Wood in a split-squad game. RHP Roberto Osuna will face Pittsburgh RHP Charlie Morton in the other.

OPENING OPPONENTS

The Blue Jays will face Japanese ace Masahiro Tanaka in the regular season opener at the New York Yankees on April 6. Yankees manager Joe Girardi made the expected announcement Friday.

MOVING DAY

The Blue Jays lost RHP Kyle Drabek on waivers to the Chicago White Sox. ... Toronto outrighted LHP Scott Barnes to Triple-A Buffalo.

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