Not only does Detroit have to face another southpaw next, it is also having problems winning of late when Justin Verlander takes the mound.
The Tigers will get their first look of the season at emerging Rangers lefty Martin Perez on Sunday while hoping Verlander can bounce back from a subpar effort.
Detroit (51-42) fell to 9-13 against left-handed starters as Derek Holland and two relievers held the Tigers to six hits in Saturday's 7-1 victory. The Rangers handed Tigers starter Max Scherzer his first defeat after a 13-0 start.
Perez (3-1, 2.08 ERA) had an inauspicious big league debut out of the bullpen June 27, 2012, in his lone career appearance against Detroit. He recorded two outs, allowed four runs and had a wild pitch in a 13-9 victory.
He figures to present a different proposition now. The Rangers have won all four of his starts since he was recalled June 22 from Triple-A Round Rock, with Perez going 3-0 with a 1.44 ERA.
The worst of those outings came Tuesday in Baltimore. Perez surrendered four runs - two earned - over six-plus innings, but got credit for an 8-4 victory and drew praise afterward.
"You can see why they're so high on Perez," Orioles manager Buck Showalter told the Rangers' official website. "He's got a really good arm, good changeup."
A Detroit lineup that produced no extra-base hits Saturday figures to be challenged by Perez. Twenty-nine of the 34 hits he's allowed this season have been singles.
The Tigers are just 10-9 when Verlander (9-6, 3.71) starts, including losses in four of his last six. The right-hander gave up five runs and a season-high 12 hits over seven-plus innings in Tuesday's 11-4 loss to the Chicago White Sox.
"Just one of those days that happens at this level, at this time of the year," Verlander said.
His poorest effort this season came when he gave up a season-worst eight runs over 2 2-3 innings in a 10-4 loss at Texas on May 16. He fell to 8-4 with a 3.27 ERA in 14 career starts against the Rangers, including two postseason outings.
Verlander is 5-2 with a 2.84 ERA in eight overall home starts versus Texas.
A.J. Pierzynski has faced Verlander more than any other hitter, going 19 for 74 (.257).
Nelson Cruz is just 2 for 17 against Verlander, but he came through with four hits Saturday as Texas (54-40) ended a three-game slide in which it totaled four runs.
Cruz is hitting .368 with 10 runs scored over his last nine games. He was 3 for 19 against Detroit in 2013 before Saturday.
Miguel Cabrera 's major league-leading average against lefties is .420 as he faces Venezuelan countryman Perez for the second time after walking on four pitches last year. Perhaps the reigning AL MVP will be more vulnerable Sunday since he's hitting .333 in day games compared to .391 at night.
Another Venezuelan, Victor Martinez , went 0 for 4 on Saturday as his 14-game hit streak ended.
|July 12, 2013||Justin Grimm||Day-to-Day||Left game - sore right forearm|
|July 10, 2013||Yu Darvish||Day-to-Day||Strained upper back|
|July 07, 2013||Lance Berkman||15-Day DL||Left hip inflammation|
|July 07, 2013||Yu Darvish||15-Day DL||Upper back strain|
|July 06, 2013||Nick Tepesch||15-Day DL||Right elbow inflammation|
|June 21, 2013||Craig Gentry||15-Day DL||Fractured left hand|
|July 07, 2013||Darin Downs||15-Day DL||Left rotator cuff tendinitis|
|July 04, 2013||Omar Infante||15-Day DL||Sprained left ankle|
|July 03, 2013||Omar Infante||Day-to-Day||Left game - left shin|
|June 20, 2013||Matt Tuiasosopo||15-Day DL||Strained left intercostal|
|June 20, 2013||Matt Tuiasosopo||15-Day DL||Strained left intercostal|
|June 17, 2013||Alex Avila||15-Day DL||Left forearm contusion|
DETROIT (AP) -- Justin Verlander 's no-hit bid was finally over in the seventh inning - and before refocusing, the Detroit ace saw his shortstop do something amusing.
"When the double was hit, and the ball came back in, everybody started cheering," Verlander said. "(Jhonny) Peralta caught the ball and looked up at the board checking the hits. That's when I knew he didn't know. I was like, `Come on, Jhonny."'
Verlander fell seven outs short of his third career no-hitter, but the Detroit ace looked sharp in his final start before the All-Star break, and the Tigers backed him with three home runs in a 5-0 victory over the Texas Rangers on Sunday.
Mitch Moreland 's two-out double to right-center broke up Verlander's bid. Verlander (10-6) left the game after the seventh with a tight right quad muscle, having allowed just that one hit and three walks.
"It was just kind of starting to get tight," Verlander said. "There's really no need to push it."
Torii Hunter , Victor Martinez and Jhonny Peralta hit solo homers off Texas starter Martin Perez (3-2). The Rangers finished with two hits.
Verlander was picked for the American League All-Star team but was replaced for Tuesday night's event. Under baseball's labor contract, pitchers who start on the Sunday before the All-Star game may opt not to participate.
Although he also took a no-hitter into the seventh at Houston on May 5, Verlander's overpowering aura hasn't been quite the same this season. Sunday's gem lowered his ERA to 3.50.
He struck out only three but was effective anyway.
"It was a little bit different Verlander than what we usually see," Moreland said. "He mixed a lot of off-speed in there and kept us off-balance. I felt like we hit some balls hard, but it seemed like they went right to them. You've got to tip your hat to what he did, it's always a battle going against him and he's where he's at for a reason. It was a tough one for us."
Verlander no-hit Toronto on May 7, 2011. His other no-hitter came June 12, 2007, against Milwaukee.
Nolan Ryan , Sandy Koufax , Bob Feller and Cy Young are among the five pitchers with at least three no-hitters. Larry Corcoran , an ambidextrous pitcher who won 177 games from 1880-85, is the other one.
Verlander took the mound about 12 hours after San Francisco's Tim Lincecum finished a no-hitter of his own at San Diego.
The drama began building in Detroit in the fourth when Tigers left fielder Matt Tuiasosopo got turned around on a line drive by Nelson Cruz . He was able to recover and reach up for the catch.
In the fifth, Hunter ran to the corner in right to catch a flyball by Elvis Andrus . Jurickson Profar , the next hitter, sent a smash toward Martinez, who was playing first base because Prince Fielder was Detroit's designated hitter Sunday. Martinez made the stop and took the ball to first himself for the third out of the inning.
Hunter went deep in the first to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead, and Martinez and Peralta hit back-to-back homers in the fourth.
Detroit added two runs in the sixth on RBI singles by Peralta and Tuiasosopo, although that rally made Verlander wait a while before taking the mound again.
The following inning was when Moreland connected for the first Texas hit. Neither Hunter nor center fielder Austin Jackson had much of a shot at Moreland's drive.
"Obviously, it's one of those things you start to think about," Verlander said. "I've been there before, where I've lost them in the sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth. So I guess I've - not become accustomed to it - but you learn to just refocus and just get the next guy. That's all I can do."
This was much better than Verlander's outing at Texas on May 16, when he allowed eight runs and didn't get out of the third inning.
Verlander has been overshadowed a bit this year by fellow Detroit right-hander Max Scherzer , who is a strong candidate to start Tuesday night's All-Star game at Citi Field in New York. But Verlander showed Sunday why he, too, is an All-Star.
"I think he's been a very good major league pitcher that has expectations that are almost impossible to live up to," Detroit manager Jim Leyland said.
Verlander received a nice ovation from the home crowd after the first Texas hit, and another one when he came back to the dugout after retiring his final batter.
NOTES: Perez allowed five runs and four hits in 5 2-3 innings. He struck out four and walked three. ... Leyland said Anibal Sanchez will start Friday at Kansas City in the first game after the All-Star break, followed by Verlander, Doug Fister , Scherzer and Rick Porcello .