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Detroit at Seattle

Venue: Safeco Field
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Justin Verlander is mired in one of the worst stretches of his career. He'll have to try to bounce back at a park where he's struggled to win recently.

The Detroit Tigers send Verlander to the mound Friday night as they open a three-game road series against the Seattle Mariners.

Verlander (5-4, 4.04 ERA) has allowed five-plus runs in three straight starts for just the second time in his career, losing the last two while yielding 11 hits in each. It marks the first time he's ever surrendered double-digit hits in consecutive outings.

He walked three and allowed six earned over 5 1-3 innings of Sunday's 12-4 loss to Texas. His 3.8 walks per nine innings are his most since averaging 3.9 in 2008.

"Right now, I'm not in a place where I can repeat my delivery every time, and that's what I need to fix," Verlander said. "But I'll get it straightened out. I'm not worried about that."

Making the appropriate changes might not come easy versus the Mariners, whom he is 3-7 against over his last 10 matchups. That includes a 1-4 mark with a 4.67 ERA in his last five outings at Safeco Field.

The entire rotation for the Tigers (30-20) has struggled during the club's 3-8 stretch, posting a 7.31 ERA after compiling a 2.70 mark through the previous 39 games. And even despite a 5-4 win in Oakland on Thursday, the bullpen may also be a concern after another rough outing from Joe Nathan.

Nathan allowed two runs and three hits in the ninth before escaping with his 13th save. He surrendered a three-run homer for his fourth blown save in Wednesday's 3-1 defeat.

The right-hander, who ranks ninth on the all-time saves list, owns a 13.50 ERA over his last five appearances, converting two of four save opportunities.

"If Joe's on you're going to have quick outs," manager Brad Ausmus said, defending Nathan. "He's been one of the best closers, he had an unbelievable year last year."

Detroit got two RBIs each from Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez Thursday. Cabrera is 19 for 46 (.413) with 11 RBIs over his last 13 games, while Martinez is 11 for 22 during a six-game hitting streak. Martinez is also 15 for 31 over his last nine against the Mariners.

Hisashi Iwakuma (3-1, 2.39) takes the ball for Seattle (26-27) also looking to shake off a mediocre performance. He gave up a season-high nine hits and four runs - all on two homers - over seven innings of a 4-1 loss to Houston on Saturday. He had thrown 16 scoreless innings over his first two home outings.

The Mariners hope to get Robinson Cano back after Thursday's 7-5 loss to the Angels marked their fourth defeat in six games. Cano, who had started the first 52 games before being a late scratch due to an illness, is batting .409 over his last 17 games with 11 multihit performances in that span.

Manager Lloyd McClendon will also be managing against the Tigers for the first time after serving on their coaching staff for the last eight seasons.

"It'll be fun to see a lot of friends and a lot of people I consider family," he told the Mariners' official website. "...I'm excited about that but I'm going to be trying to kick their (butt)."

Torii Hunter, who received a day of rest Thursday, is 26 for 62 over his last 15 games versus Seattle.

Ian Kinsler is 8 for 20 against Iwakuma with three homers.

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

J. Verlander
Detroit 2014 stats Seattle
1-2 Wins-Losses 1-1
17.1 Innings Pitched 23.0
8.31 Earned Run Average 2.35
9 Walks 1
7 Strikeouts 14
2.13 WHIP 0.87

H. Iwakuma
Probable Pitchers
Standings
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Detroit1st AL Central8668.558-7-3 W 2
Seattle3rd AL West8371.53912 ½ 4-6 L 1
 
 
Injuries
Detroit
PlayerInjury
A. AvilaHead
A. DirksBack
J. HanrahanElbow
J. IglesiasShin
P. McCoyHamstring
L. PutkonenElbow
B. RondonElbow
A. SanchezPectoral
Seattle
PlayerInjury
B. BeavanShoulder
W. BloomquistKnee
R. EliasElbow
 
Series Game Log
DateatResult/TimeWinnerLoser
Apr 21SEAHOU 7-2Keuchel Hernandez 
Apr 22SEAHOU 5-2McHugh Ramirez 
Apr 23SEASEA 5-3Rodney Fields 
May 2HOUHOU 5-4Bass Furbush 
May 3HOUSEA 9-8Iwakuma Keuchel 
May 4HOUSEA 8-7Maurer McHugh 
May 22SEASEA 3-1Leone Cosart 
May 23SEASEA 6-1Hernandez Owens 
May 24SEAHOU 9-4Oberholtzer Maurer 
May 25SEAHOU 4-1Keuchel Iwakuma 
Jun 30HOUSEA 10-4Walker McHugh 
Jul 1HOUSEA 13-2Iwakuma Cosart 
Jul 2HOUSEA 5-2Young Peacock 
Sep 8SEASEA 4-1Farquhar Foltynewicz 
Sep 9SEAHOU 2-1McHugh Medina 
Sep 10SEAHOU 5-2Tropeano Iwakuma 
Sep 19HOUSEA 10-5Walker Peacock 
Sep 20HOUHOU 10-1Keuchel Young 
Sep 21HOU 2:10 PM EDT