American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, August 22nd
(All times Eastern)
Minnesota Twins (55-70) at Detroit Tigers (74-52), 1:08 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Minnesota - Andrew Albers (2-1, 1.85)
Detroit - Justin Verlander (12-9, 3.51)
(Sports Network) - Justin Verlander tries to pitch the Detroit Tigers to a
series win on Thursday when they play the rubber match of their three-game set
with the Minnesota Twins at Comerica Park.
Verlander has dominated the Twins of late, posting a 9-0 mark with a 1.67 ERA
in his last 10 starts against them. He's beaten them twice already this season
and owns a 14-7 lifetime mark against them with a 3.04 ERA in 25 starts.
The former AL MVP and Cy Young Award winner will be looking to bounce back
from a hard-luck loss to Kansas City his last time out, as he allowed two runs
and seven hits in eight innings, dropping him to 12-9 on the year to go along
with a 3.51 ERA.
"I feel that my stuff has been better, specifically my breaking ball,"
Verlander said after the loss. "So I'm definitely happy where I'm heading
going into the last month of the year and hopefully the postseason."
After losing Tuesday's opener, Detroit evened this series at a game apiece on
Wednesday, as Torii Hunter stroked a go-ahead, two-run double as part of a
four-run seventh inning in the Tigers' 7-1 victory.
Victor Martinez capped the two-out rally with a run-scoring double, while
Miguel Cabrera put the game away in the eighth with a bases-loaded double that
plated all three runners to help the Tigers to their third win in four games.
Drew Smyly (5-0) earned the victory after retiring all three hitters he faced
in relief of starter Anibal Sanchez, who struck out eight over 6 2/3 frames of
Jose Veras recorded the final out of the eighth before spinning a 1-2-3 ninth
to secure his 20th save of the season.
Minnesota starter Kevin Correia (8-10) held the AL Central leaders scoreless
over the first six frames, but was charged for all four runs -- two earned --
in the decisive seventh inning.
"That's the position you're trying to get yourself in, a one-run lead in the
seventh with two outs. You end up giving up four runs it's tough," Correia
lamented. "You pitch well and you have nothing to show for it really."
Brian Dozier knocked in the lone run for the Twins, who have lost five of
their last six games.
Getting the call for the Twins on Thursday will be rookie left-hander Matt
Albers, who suffered his first big league loss on Saturday. Albers had not
allowed a run in winning his first two assignments, but was roughed up by the
Chicago White Sox to the tune of five runs and eight hits in seven frames to
raise his ERA to 1.85.
"I haven't seen much of him," Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. "He's not an
overpowering guy. He's a left-handed stylish type pitcher, pretty good. His
numbers are very good."
Detroit is 9-6 against the Twins this season.
08/22 10:23:38 ET