Considering how he's fared against the Tampa Bay Rays of late, the right-hander might not have an easy time getting back on track.
Winless in three starts, Verlander looks to avoid a third consecutive loss to the Rays on Saturday night.
Verlander (8-5, 3.90 ERA) went 4-0 with a 3.82 ERA in five starts before he allowed nine runs, 14 hits with seven walks and nine strikeouts over 10 innings to go 0-1 in the last two. He gave up four runs in five innings of a 7-5 win over Boston on Sunday.
"That's sports," Verlander said. "There's ups and downs. Nobody's at the peak of their game forever."I'll get back there. I will. It's just, like I said, finding that click - finding that rhythm."
Verlander certainly has the talent to turn things around, but it might not come against the Rays (41-39). He was 6-1 with a 3.60 ERA in his first 10 starts versus Tampa Bay before going 0-2 with a 5.02 ERA in two matchups last season.
He yielded four runs and three homers in six innings of a 4-2 loss at Tropicana Field exactly one year to the day of this scheduled start.
Verlander also could have a hard time following up teammate Max Scherzer , who pitched seven solid innings to become the first pitcher to go 12-0 since Roger Clemens in 1986 as the Tigers (43-35) snapped a three-game skid with a 6-3 win Friday.
Miguel Cabrera went 4 for 4 with two home runs and three RBIs to raise his major league-leading average to .377 and RBI total to 81."I'm pitching well, but the reason I'm 12-0 is because of my offense," Scherzer said. "You got to see firsthand (Friday) the best player in the game hitting two home runs on three pitches and going 4 for 4."
Cabrera is batting .490 (25 for 51) with six homers and 12 RBIs during a season-high 13-game hitting streak.
He's hit .433 in his last 18 against the Rays, who have totaled three runs and seven hits while dropping two in a row.
Breaking out of that rut might not be easy with Evan Longoria likely out after he left Friday with an irritation of plantar fasciitis in his right foot. The nagging injury is likely a reason Longoria is 1 for 12 in his last five contests.
"Of course I'm concerned, but I don't know the level yet until I get more information," manager Joe Maddon said.
Rookie Rays outfielder Wil Myers had two hits Friday, including a solo homer.
Myers, who made his major league debut June 18, is batting .375 (9 for 24) with all three of his home runs and seven RBIs in the last six games.
Fellow rookie Chris Archer (2-3, 4.21) takes the mound looking to build on Sunday's effort when he allowed a run in six innings of a 3-1 victory at Yankee Stadium. He had yielded six runs in 8 2-3 innings while losing his previous two starts.
"(Pitching coach Jim Hickey ) and I talked about some things," Archer told the Rays' official website. "Since my past few starts were not efficient or effective, I was able to apply (the lessons) right away (Sunday)."
This will be the right-hander's 10th career start and first appearance against the Tigers.
|June 20, 2013||Matt Tuiasosopo||15-Day DL||Strained left intercostal|
|June 20, 2013||Matt Tuiasosopo||Day-to-Day||Rib cage strain|
|June 17, 2013||Alex Avila||15-Day DL||Left forearm contusion|
|June 16, 2013||Anibal Sanchez||15-Day DL||Strained right shoulder|
|June 08, 2013||Anibal Sanchez||Day-to-Day||Right shoulder stiffness|
|May 12, 2013||Austin Jackson||15-Day DL||Strained right hamstring|
|Tampa Bay Rays|
|June 28, 2013||Evan Longoria||Day-to-Day||Plantar fasciitis, left foot|
|June 16, 2013||Alex Cobb||7-Day DL||Concussion|
|June 05, 2013||Kelly Johnson||Day-to-Day||Back stiffness|
|May 16, 2013||David Price||15-Day DL||Left triceps strain|
|May 15, 2013||David Price||Day-to-Day||Left tricep tightness|
|May 08, 2013||Brandon Gomes||15-Day DL||Strained right lat|
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Detroit slugger Miguel Cabrera 's 10th inning at-bat against Tampa Bay closer Fernando Rodney overshadowed the Rays' comeback victory.
Yunel Escobar had an RBI single in the bottom of the 10th inning as the Rays rallied for a 4-3 victory over the Tigers on Saturday night.
But most of the attention after the game centered on Cabrera yelling at the Tampa Bay dugout after he struck out against Rodney. The Rays right-hander threw an in-tight and up pitch to back Cabrera off the plate during the at-bat.
"I don't know what he's saying," Rodney said. "I'm trying to do my job. You have to pitch inside sometimes. You have to pitch inside, outside, everywhere. You don't want to hit nobody because the game is on the line.
"That's what I got on my mind, try to move (him) a little bit because the guy is a dangerous hitter."
Cabrera declined to comment about the confrontation, but Tigers manager Jim Leyland talked about it in a strong way.
"I don't care about throwing inside, but I don't like it up there, and we will not tolerate that," Leyland said. "I'm not accusing anybody of anything but we won't tolerate that. If you're going to just rare back and throw it, you can't throw it there. That'll cause a lot of problems for people. That's not a good idea. That's not acceptable.
"We lost a tough game. They earned the win, they got the win, and OK, more power to them, but throwing in that area is not acceptable, and somebody pays the price for that throughout baseball. That's just the way baseball is. That's not free. There's no free lunch. That won't be tolerated. You can take that to the bank"
Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said he had no idea why Cabrera was upset.
"You'd have to ask him why," Maddon said. "I was kind of surprised, actually."
Rodney (3-2) threw two scoreless innings for the win
Cabrera went 1 for 4 with a walk, but his major league-leading batting average dropped two points to .375. He has a 14-game hitting streak.
James Loney had a one-out single in the 10th off Bruce Rondon (0-1). Pinch-runner Sam Fuld went to second on Wil Myers ' single, and after Luke Scott struck out, both runners advanced on a wild pitch.
Escobar won it for the Rays with a line drive that sailed over the head of center fielder Austin Jackson .
"I'm very happy that I was able to help the team win," Escobar said through an interpreter.
Scott tied it at 3 on a solo homer with one out in the eighth off Tigers starter Justin Verlander , who allowed three runs, nine hits and four walks during a season-high eight innings. Verlander is winless in his last four starts.
"This is the game we've talked about that we have to start winning, and we won it tonight against a really good team," Maddon said.
Rays slugger Evan Longoria was out of the starting lineup for the first time this season due to a sore right foot. The third baseman, who left Friday night's game, is also expected to sit out on Sunday against the Tigers.
Jackson hit an opposite-field solo homer to right, and Jhonny Peralta had a two-run single off Chris Archer that put the Tigers ahead 3-0 in the third.
Archer gave up three runs, five hits, three walks and had three strikeouts in five innings.
Loney had an RBI single during the fifth to get the Rays within 3-2. Verlander avoided further damage by getting a double-play grounder from rookie Myers with two on and one out.
Loney grounded into a double play with runners on the corners and one out in the seventh. Myers flied out with two runners on to end the first.
Tampa Bay's Desmond Jennings tripled and scored on Ben Zobrist 's grounder in the third. Jennings, playing in center, was charged with an error in the eighth, which snapped a streak of 262 games in the outfield without a miscue.
NOTES: Detroit RHP Anibal Sanchez (right shoulder strain) will pitch Monday in Florida for either Class A Lakeland or the rookie level Gulf Coast League Tigers. ... Loney extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a single in the first. ... The Rays recalled INF Ryan Roberts from Triple-A Durham and optioned RHP Alex Colome to the International League club. ... Home plate umpire Dan Iassogna remained in the game after he appeared to get hit near the right wrist by a pitch from Rodney in the ninth that partially deflected off C Jose Molina 's glove.