Rick Porcello had the worst start of his career the last time he faced the Texas Rangers. Tonight, the Detroit Tigers hope for a better effort from their young right-hander when they start a three-game set against Texas at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
Porcello recorded only three outs against the Rangers back on April 21, as he was hit for nine runs (8 earned) and 10 hits. He's 1-2 lifetime against them with a 12.27 ERA in three starts.
Porcello, who is 4-5 with a 4.95 ERA, was defeated by St. Louis on Wednesday, but did not pitch that bad, as he allowed two runs in seven innings.
Detroit avoided a three-game sweep at the hands of the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday, as Justin Verlander went the distance for the fourth time this season in the Tigers' 3-2 win at PNC Park.
Verlander (8-4), who dazzled Pittsburgh hitters for six frames until he surrendered a two-homer to Garrett Jones in the seventh, allowed just five hits and struck out seven to get his third consecutive win.
"We had the horse going, and (Verlander) pitched how the horse is supposed to pitch," said Tigers manager Jim Leyland. "He did a great job, he left the changeup up to Jones and he hit it out, but he was terrific and closed it out."
Quintin Berry hit a two-run homer and scored the winning run on a Delmon Young single in the eighth, and Austin Jackson had a pair of hits and scored once for the Tigers, who have won five of eight.
The Rangers, meanwhile, have been red-hot, winning eight of nine following a series win over the Colorado Rockies. On Sunday, Matt Harrison worked five scoreless innings and Texas held on to knock off the Rockies, 4-2.
Harrison (10-3) struck out three and walked two while allowing just five hits to earn the win. Robbie Ross, Tanner Scheppers and Mike Adams each threw a scoreless inning of relief before Joe Nathan allowed two runs in the ninth, but finished off the victory for the Rangers, who have won 11 of 13 and have matched their best 73-game start (45-28) set in 1996,
Leonys Martin went 2-for-4 with a two-run triple and an RBI double, and Elvis Andrus added an RBI double in the win.
"We know the kid can swing the bat. It's just the other parts of the game that we're trying to make sure that he gathers," Rangers manager Ron Washington said about Martin. "He played great tonight."
Hoping to stay in the win column, Texas will rely on righty Justin Grimm tonight. Grimm won his major league debut back on June 16 against Houston, holding the Astros to three runs and six hits in six innings.
Texas took three of four from the Tigers earlier in the season.