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Detroit at Tampa Bay

Venue: Tropicana Field

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 2014 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
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Detroit2nd AL Central7562.547 ½ 7-3 W 1
Tampa Bay4th AL East6771.486134-6 W 1
vs Chris Archer
vs Justin Verlander
Scott174114.235 Shop

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A. DirksBack
J. HanrahanElbow
J. IglesiasShin
P. McCoyHamstring
L. PutkonenElbow
B. RondonElbow
A. SanchezPectoral
J. SoriaOblique
Tampa Bay
T. BeckhamKnee
D. JenningsKnee
M. MooreElbow
J. PeraltaIllness
J. SandsWrist
Series Game Log
Mar 31TBTB 9-2Price Dickey 
Apr 1TBTOR 4-2Hutchison Cobb 
Apr 2TBTOR 3-0Buehrle Moore 
Apr 3TBTB 7-2Archer Morrow 
May 26TORTOR 10-5Hutchison Bedard 
May 27TORTOR 9-6Buehrle Cobb 
May 28TORTOR 3-2Loup Oviedo 
Jul 11TBTOR 8-5Loup Balfour 
Jul 12TBTB 10-3Odorizzi Hutchison 
Jul 13TBTB 3-0Price Dickey 
Aug 22TORTB 8-0Smyly Stroman 
Aug 23TORTOR 5-4McGowan Peralta 
Aug 24TORTB 2-1McGee Santos 
Sep 2TB 7:10 PM EDT  
Sep 3TB 7:10 PM EDT  
Sep 4TB 7:10 PM EDT  
Sep 12TOR 7:07 PM EDT  
Sep 13TOR 1:07 PM EDT  
Sep 14TOR 1:07 PM EDT