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Detroit at Tampa Bay

Venue: Tropicana Field
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Justin Verlander does not seem too concerned about how he's pitched over his last two starts for the Detroit Tigers.

Considering how he's fared against the Tampa Bay Rays of late, the right-hander might not have an easy time getting back on track.

Winless in three starts, Verlander looks to avoid a third consecutive loss to the Rays on Saturday night.

Verlander (8-5, 3.90 ERA) went 4-0 with a 3.82 ERA in five starts before he allowed nine runs, 14 hits with seven walks and nine strikeouts over 10 innings to go 0-1 in the last two. He gave up four runs in five innings of a 7-5 win over Boston on Sunday.

"That's sports," Verlander said. "There's ups and downs. Nobody's at the peak of their game forever.

"I'll get back there. I will. It's just, like I said, finding that click - finding that rhythm.''

Verlander certainly has the talent to turn things around, but it might not come against the Rays (41-39). He was 6-1 with a 3.60 ERA in his first 10 starts versus Tampa Bay before going 0-2 with a 5.02 ERA in two matchups last season.

He yielded four runs and three homers in six innings of a 4-2 loss at Tropicana Field exactly one year to the day of this scheduled start.

Verlander also could have a hard time following up teammate Max Scherzer, who pitched seven solid innings to become the first pitcher to go 12-0 since Roger Clemens in 1986 as the Tigers (43-35) snapped a three-game skid with a 6-3 win Friday.

Miguel Cabrera went 4 for 4 with two home runs and three RBIs to raise his major league-leading average to .377 and RBI total to 81.

"I'm pitching well, but the reason I'm 12-0 is because of my offense,'' Scherzer said. "You got to see firsthand (Friday) the best player in the game hitting two home runs on three pitches and going 4 for 4."

Cabrera is batting .490 (25 for 51) with six homers and 12 RBIs during a season-high 13-game hitting streak.

He's hit .433 in his last 18 against the Rays, who have totaled three runs and seven hits while dropping two in a row.

Breaking out of that rut might not be easy with Evan Longoria likely out after he left Friday with an irritation of plantar fasciitis in his right foot. The nagging injury is likely a reason Longoria is 1 for 12 in his last five contests.

"Of course I'm concerned, but I don't know the level yet until I get more information," manager Joe Maddon said.

Rookie Rays outfielder Wil Myers had two hits Friday, including a solo homer.

Myers, who made his major league debut June 18, is batting .375 (9 for 24) with all three of his home runs and seven RBIs in the last six games.

Fellow rookie Chris Archer (2-3, 4.21) takes the mound looking to build on Sunday's effort when he allowed a run in six innings of a 3-1 victory at Yankee Stadium. He had yielded six runs in 8 2-3 innings while losing his previous two starts.

"(Pitching coach Jim Hickey) and I talked about some things," Archer told the Rays' official website. "Since my past few starts were not efficient or effective, I was able to apply (the lessons) right away (Sunday)."

This will be the right-hander's 10th career start and first appearance against the Tigers.

Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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Probable Starters

Justin Verlander, RHP
2013 stats
97.0 Innings Pitched 25.2
8-5 Wins-Losses 2-3
3.90 Earned Run Average 4.21
35 Walks 15
110 Strikeouts 22
107 Pitches Per Start 96
Career vs. opponent
79.1 Innings Pitched -
6-3 Wins-Losses ---
3.86 Earned Run Average -

Chris Archer, RHP
Weather
Indoor
Standings
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Detroit5th AL Central1017.3706 ½ 4-6 L 1
Tampa Bay4th AL East1111.5001 ½ 5-5 L 2
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Chris Archer
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Alvarez000000
Benoit000000
Cabrera000000
Coke000000
Dirks000000
 
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Justin Verlander
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Jennings73201.429
Joyce146216.429
Rodriguez72002.286
Longoria257115.280
Scott174114.235
 

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Injuries
Detroit
PlayerInjury
V. MartinezKnee
J. NathanThumb
B. RondonNeck
J. VerlanderTriceps
Tampa Bay
PlayerInjury
A. CobbForearm
A. ColomeIllness
N. FranklinOblique
J. McGeeElbow
M. MooreElbow
D. SmylyShoulder
 
Series Game Log
DateatResult/TimeWinnerLoser
Apr 6TB 3:10 PM EDT  
Apr 7TB 7:10 PM EDT  
Apr 8TB 7:10 PM EDT  
May 1BAL 7:05 PM EDT  
May 2BAL 7:05 PM EDT  
May 3BAL 1:35 PM EDT  
May 29BAL 7:05 PM EDT  
May 30BAL   
May 31BAL 1:35 PM EDT  
Jul 24TB 7:10 PM EDT  
Jul 25TB   
Jul 26TB 1:10 PM EDT  
Aug 31BAL 7:05 PM EDT  
Sep 1BAL 7:05 PM EDT  
Sep 2BAL 7:05 PM EDT  
Sep 17TB 7:10 PM EDT  
Sep 18TB   
Sep 19TB   
Sep 20TB 1:10 PM EDT