Verlander takes another crack at win No. 1 versus Padres
(SportsNetwork.com) - Justin Verlander takes another shot at his first win of the season on Saturday when the Detroit Tigers continue a three-game series with the San Diego Padres at Petco Park.
Verlander pitched well enough to win his last start on Sunday against Baltimore, as he allowed two runs and five hits in eight innings. The Tigers, though, only managed one run for him and he fell to 0-1 on the year, despite lowering his ERA to 2.57.
Through two starts, Verlander has allowed four earned runs in 14 innings, throwing more than 100 pitches in each start. However, he's only managed five strikeouts. Last season, he recorded three strikeouts in a start five times, and never fewer than that.He had two on Opening Day against Kansas City and three on Sunday.
"I talked to Max about that when I came out of the game," Verlander said. "You get a feel for strikeouts. My feel for those isn't quite there yet. I'm not quite executing as well as I should, or maybe over-trying with two strikes, hanging stuff and letting it be hittable as opposed to executing it. But that's pretty typical for me, I think. You end up finding a feel for it."
Verlander, who is still looking for his first major league hit, defeated the Padres the only other time he faced them.
San Diego, meanwhile, will counter with lefty Ian Kennedy, who is 1-1 with a 3.27 ERA. Kennedy earned his first win of the season on Sunday in Miami, as he held the Marlins to a run and three hits over six innings.
Kennedy is 0-1 in two starts against the Tigers with a 5.56 ERA.
San Diego got a terrific pitching performance in Friday's 6-0 win, as Andrew Cashner struck out a career-high 11 batters in the second one-hit shutout of his career. Chase Headley stroked a two-run homer and had three RBI. Chris Denorfia, Seth Smith, and Jedd Gyorko each added an RBI in the Padres' second straight win.
Rajai Davis provided Detroit's lone hit and had two stolen bases. Starter Rick Porcello (1-1) gave up five runs on 10 hits in 6 1/3 innings for the Tigers, who have dropped three of their last four.
"He was mixing up his pitches and spots," said Davis on Cashner. "He was able to locate. He stuck with what worked."
San Diego hasn't played Detroit since the Tigers took two of three back in 2008. The Padres, though, have won just three of the last 10 in the series.
04/12 09:40:25 ET