Detroit Tigers (33-27) at Chicago White Sox (32-33), 8:10 p.m. (ET)
06/11/2014 10:34 AM
06/11/2014 10:41 AM
(SportsNetwork.com) - Detroit right-hander Justin Verlander has not looked like the pitcher who was once an American League Cy Young Award winner and MVP. Perhaps a start against a team he has dominated over the course of his career will get him back on track.
Verlander tries to get the Tigers back into the win column on Wednesday when they continue what is now a three-game series versus the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field.
Tuesday's second contest was postponed by rain and will be made up on a later date.
Verlander lost for the third time in four starts last Thursday against Toronto, as he allowed six runs (5 earned) and eight hits in seven innings to fall to 6-5 on the year to go along with a 4.19 ERA.
Despite pitching to a 6.75 ERA over his last five starts, Verlander was encouraged by his start against the Blue Jays, as his velocity was up in the high 90s.
"(My) last couple of starts have been night and day better stuff-wise," Verlander said.
Facing the White Sox could be just what he needs, as Verlander has won 13 of his last 16 decisions against them. However, in 15 career starts at U.S. Cellular Field, he is 5-7 with a 4.26 ERA.
Chicago, meanwhile, will turn to lefty John Danks, who was terrific against Los Angeles on Wednesday. Danks held the Dodgers to a run and two hits over 7 1/3 innings, as he improved to 4-5, while lowering his ERA to 4.32.
"I wasn't as sharp as I'd like," said Danks of his most recent outing, "but I guess you could call it effectively wild. It's not an easy lineup and I knew I had to be good going against Josh (Beckett). Caught some breaks, they hit some balls at some guys and I'm happy we got the win."
Danks beat the Tigers earlier this season, but is just 5-10 lifetime against them with a 5.18 ERA.
Detroit's struggles continued in Monday's opener, as Ronald Belisario stranded the tying run on third base in the ninth inning and Chicago held on for a 6-5 win.
Chicago's corner outfielders misplayed two balls into doubles in the last inning, as Moises Sierra lost Austin Jackson's fly ball in the lights and Alejandro De Aza overran Alex Avila's deep line drive to the wall in left.
Avila's double pulled Detroit within 6-5, but Belisario retired the next three hitters in succession to post his sixth save of the year.
Jose Abreu belted a two-run homer, Conor Gillaspie knocked in a pair and Gordon Beckham went 3-for-5 with a run scored and an RBI for the Sox, who dropped three straight to the Angels in Anaheim over the weekend.
"It was a team win tonight," Gillaspie said. "We had so many guys contribute in so many different ways."
Victor Martinez smacked a two-run homer for Detroit while Eugenio Suarez and Miguel Cabrera, who exited Sunday's game with left hamstring tightness, both hit solo blasts in the setback.
Hector Noesi (2-4) served up those three home runs but still came away with the win, his second straight after going two years without a victory. The right-hander was charged with four runs on seven hits over 5 2/3 innings.
Rick Porcello (8-4) surrendered six runs -- five earned -- on nine hits over five-plus innings for the Tigers, who have dropped seven of their last nine.
"It was a struggle from the get-go," Porcello said.
Detroit has won four of seven head-to-head meetings with Chicago this season.
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