St. Louis right-hander Lance Lynn goes after his 11th win of the season this evening when the Cardinals open a three-game set with the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park.
It won't come easy, however, as the Cardinals will be opposing reigning American League Cy Young Award winner and MVP Justin Verlander, who has dominated the National League over the course of his career.
The Tigers have won all 11 of his interleague starts at home and he's gone 10-0 with a 1.73 ERA in those contests. Verlander is just 6-4 this season, but is a remarkable 2-0 with a 1.57 ERA in three starts versus the NL in 2012.
St. Louis, though, has given him problems, as he is 2-1 against them, but has pitched to a 5.50 ERA in those three starts. And that doesn't include his two losses to them in the 2006 World Series.
Verlander won for the first time in five starts on Thursday in Chicago, as he held the Cubs to two runs in eight innings to lower his ERA on the year to 2.66.
Detroit enters tonight's tilt having won four of its last five after taking two of three from lowly Colorado over the weekend. The Tigers have also posted wins in six of their last eight and have climbed within 2 1/2 games of the Chicago White Sox in the AL Central.
"You can never sit here and feel good about yourself, because you've got to play your A-game every single night," said Detroit's Max Scherzer, who struck out 12 in the Tigers' 5-0 win on Sunday. "It's nice to win three series, but we've got to keep it going. We've got to keep churning out the series wins."
St. Louis dropped two of three this weekend to the Kansas City Royals, falling, 5-3, in 15 innings in Sunday's rubber match.
Eduardo Sanchez (0-1) was pegged with the loss after giving up the winning run. Adam Wainwright started the game for St. Louis and gave up one run on five hits and struck out eight over seven frames.
"He pitched good enough to win, did a nice job for us," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said of Wainwright's outing.
Matt Holliday and Allen Craig each hit solo homers for the Cardinals, losers in four of seven.
Lynn, meanwhile, will be trying to match the Mets' R.A. Dickey as the only 11- game winners in the league this season. Lynn won his second straight start on Wednesday against the White Sox, scattering three hits over 7 1/3 scoreless innings to run his record to 10-2, while lowering his ERA to 2.42.
He also struck out 12 batters and has allowed two earned runs or fewer in 11 of his 13 starts this season.
St. Louis took two of three from the Tigers the last time these teams faced off back in 2009 at Busch Stadium.