Verlander's stability, though, may be something Jake Peavy envies.
Detroit seeks its first four-game sweep on the South Side of Chicago in more than 33 years Thursday when Verlander opposes Peavy, who could be making his final start for the White Sox.
Verlander won the AL MVP and Cy Young Award in 2011 before helping the Tigers reach the World Series while winning 17 games last season, key reasons many believe his current numbers - a 10-7 record with a 3.69 ERA - aren't up to par.
The White Sox roughed up Verlander for five runs and a season-worst 12 hits in seven innings as he suffered an 11-4 loss July 9, allowing homers to Adam Dunn and Dayan Viciedo . He had gone 12-1 with a 2.33 ERA in his previous 13 starts against Chicago
Verlander bounced back from that outing by allowing one hit through seven innings - losing his no-hitter with two outs in the seventh - of a 5-0 win over Texas, but he then allowed six runs in 5 2-3 frames of a 6-5 loss to Kansas City on Saturday.
The right-hander hasn't been pleased with his performance this season given the expectations he's set for himself."It's been a see-saw battle," Verlander said. "I haven't been able to find it. I'm trying to find that consistency."
Leyland knows his ace is capable of getting back to that elite level."It's just not what you expect of him, which is a little unfair because of what you expect of him," Leyland said. "He just didn't have a Justin Verlander -type game. These things happen."
Verlander of course won't have to worry about being dealt before the July 31 trade deadline, though, something Peavy cannot boast.
Peavy (7-4, 4.19) is garnering interest from multiple teams looking to acquire another piece for their rotation, but he pitched through the rumors Saturday and allowed four runs - two earned - in six innings of a 10-6 win over Atlanta.
It marked his first start since fracturing a rib while allowing six runs in 2 1-3 innings of a 7-4 loss to Seattle on June 4.
The most recent reports have the White Sox in discussions to trade the right-hander to Boston, though Peavy is focused on the task at hand.
"Honestly, come 1 p.m. (Thursday), that'll be the last thing that I'll be thinking of," Peavy said. "I'll be worried about getting Austin Jackson out at 1 (Thursday), not anything about (which scouts may be) watching."
He likely will need to worry about the rest of the Tigers' lineup, too, as he's 0-3 with a 7.13 ERA over his last four starts against Detroit. Peavy allowed three runs - a two-run homer to Jackson and solo shot to Miguel Cabrera - in 5 2-3 innings of a 5-3 loss the last time he faced the Tigers on Sept. 11.
Peavy, though, won't have to worry about facing Cabrera, who will miss a third straight contest due to a left hip flexor injury.
Detroit is seeking its first four-game sweep in Chicago since June 20-22, 1980, after winning 6-2 on Wednesday.
Viciedo homered and Alejandro De Aza had three hits as the White Sox (39-59) lost for the sixth time in nine games.
Detroit has won 13 of the last 17 meetings.
|Alejandro De Aza||13||.231||3||2||3||1||5||.286||.978||.692|
|July 23, 2013||Miguel Cabrera||Day-to-Day||Strained left hip flexor|
|July 14, 2013||Justin Verlander||Day-to-Day||Left game - Right quadriceps tightness|
|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|
|Chicago White Sox|
|July 21, 2013||Gordon Beckham||Day-to-Day||Strained ligament, left wrist|
|July 03, 2013||Paul Konerko||15-Day DL||Strained lower back|
|July 03, 2013||Paul Konerko||15-Day DL||Strained lower back|
|July 02, 2013||Jesse Crain||Day-to-Day||Right shoulder tightness|
|June 30, 2013||Jesse Crain||15-Day DL||Sprained right shoulder|
|June 29, 2013||Brian Omogrosso||15-Day DL||Strained right triceps|
CHICAGO (AP) -- If Thursday was Jake Peavy 's last start with the White Sox, he wanted a reminder of his days in Chicago.
Peavy chose to have the White Sox wear the team's 1983 throwback jerseys, then outpitched Justin Verlander in a 7-4 victory over the Detroit Tigers .
Peavy (8-4) has been the subject of trade speculation as the July 31 deadline approaches. He hadn't pitched in the old-style uniforms - usually reserved for Sundays - and knew that with multiple scouts watching him, it might be his last chance.
The fans also recognized Thursday might have been the end for Peavy in Chicago, and they gave him standing ovations following the seventh inning and when he was relieved in the eighth after giving up Brayan Pena 's home run.
"It was very humbling. It was emotional for me," Peavy said. "If it was the last time I pitch here at U.S. Cellular Field, with this uniform on, it was a nice way to go out. It meant the absolute world to me. I hope everyone knows that."
The Tigers again played minus Miguel Cabrera and had their four-game winning streak end. The AL MVP missed his third straight game because of an injured left hip flexor.
Cabrera's status for Friday night's home game against Philadelphia was uncertain.
"I'm not going to do anything stupid," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "Just have to wait and see how he comes in tomorrow."
Torii Hunter homered for the third time in the series. But the Tigers outfielder exited in the eighth and is day to day with a sore left Achilles.
Peavy was acquired from San Diego on July 31, 2009, and re-signed for two years with the White Sox last October. He didn't get no-trade protection because he figured Chicago, which won 85 games in 2012, would be in contention this season.
That, however, isn't the case. Peavy helped Chicago avoid falling 21 games below .500.
Peavy said again that he's open to either staying in Chicago or leaving for a contending team.
"I'll be happy to stay here and be the best teammate I can be, grind it out the rest of the season and make sure we keep playing hard and show up to win every day," Peavy said.
"If I get traded, I'll give the boys a big hug and make sure a few tears will be shed, leaving the friendships here. And I'll go play as hard as I can to help the next ballclub I'm on, if that happens. Just going to take it in and we'll see how the next few days play out," he said.
White Sox manager Robin Ventura doesn't have a say in Peavy's future. If he did, he'd push for the 2007 NL Cy Young Award winner to stay in Chicago.
"It's one of those I enjoy him being on our team. I know what he means," Ventura said. "I don't make that decision so, again, I'm the guy that's appreciating just him being on our team right now. I hope he's here through next year, too."
Peavy allowed four hits, three of them homers, and four hits while striking out seven in the matchup of former Cy Young winners.
In two starts since returning from the disabled list with a broken left rib, Peavy is 2-0 and has given up six earned runs in 13 innings.
Verlander (10-8) gave up seven runs and 11 hits in six innings. Tyler Flowers , catching for the first time since July 21, homered off the Tigers star.
"Today, as funny as it sounds, was a step in the right direction," Verlander said. "I thought my stuff was the best it's been all year. It was just a little erratic."
Addison Reed allowed the tying run to get to the plate in the ninth but struck out Pena to pick up his 26th save in 30 tries, keeping the White Sox from getting swept in a four-game series at home by Detroit for the first time since June 20-22, 1980.
Verlander, who fell to 0-2 against the White Sox this season, struggled early.
Chicago scored twice in the first for its first lead in the series. Paul Konerko and Jeff Keppinger hit RBI singles with two outs.
Peavy allowed his first hit in the fourth when Austin Jackson singled. Hunter followed with his 10th homer.
The White Sox scored four times in the bottom half. Flowers hit an RBI double off left fielder Andy Dirks ' glove, Alexei Ramirez had a two-run single and Alex Rios singled home a run.
Flowers homered in the sixth. Victor Martinez connected for the Tigers in the seventh.
NOTES: White Sox RHP Jesse Crain , out since July 3 with a strained right shoulder, played catch but pitching coach Don Cooper termed it a "slight" setback. Crain did not throw a bullpen session as hoped. ... Leyland said closer Joaquin Benoit , who worked in three of Detroit's previous four games, was unavailable. ... White Sox 2B Gordon Beckham was out of the lineup for the fifth straight game with a strained left wrist but could play Friday. .... Tigers 2B Omar Infante , on a rehab assignment with Single-A West Michigan after spraining his left ankle July 3, could return to the Tigers on Friday if he feels ready to return. ... LHP Darin Downs , on the DL since July 7, was also scheduled to make a rehab appearance Thursday for West Michigan. ... Jose Quintana (5-2, 3.61) will pitch Friday for the White Sox in Chicago against the Royals' James Shields (4-7, 3.24). ... The Tigers' Doug Fister (8-5, 3.90) will face Philadelphia's Cole Hamels (4-12, 4.16) in Detroit.