Even though he likes to pretend otherwise during in-season batting practice ahead of road interleague games, Justin Verlander is no hitter.

He's batted 33 times during the regular season, and still doesn't have a hit.

So maybe it's time for some tips from the — gasp — younger brother.

Ben Verlander tied an Old Dominion university record Saturday when he hit three home runs in one game. For good measure, he added a single, and finished with seven RBIs, which was one short of a school record.

"I'm so excited for him!" big bro, Justin, said Monday. "I called him the other night. He was kind of short, that's just kind of the way he is."

Verlander's dad, Richard, was keeping Justin up to speed on Ben's game against Northeastern.

The first text game in: grand slam.

You have one, ever, Justin? "Can't say that I have."

Then the next text. Solo homer.

Then yet another text. Two-run homer.

"So I called him," said Justin, "and said, 'What the hell?'"

Ben Verlander just recently stopped being a two-way player. He used to pitch, but now he's just focused on being an outfielder, first baseman — and a hitter. What a hitter.

These are pretty good dividends for Ben, 21, who actually came to Detroit last year and worked out with Tigers hitting coach Lloyd McClendon.

"He's been raking," Justin said. "He says he feels great, and I couldn't be happier."



From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130312/SPORTS0104/303120341#ixzz2NKgL0zvu