Detroit ace Justin Verlander tries to bounce back from his worst start of the season on Wednesday when the Tigers close out a brief two- game set with the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field.
Verlander lost his second straight start and didn't get out of the third inning on Thursday in Texas, as the Rangers ripped him for eight runs and six hits in just 2 2/3 innings, dropping him to 4-4 on the year, while raising his ERA more than a run to 3.17.
"It wasn't much of a night to begin with, but I'd definitely say the whole game kind of (was a) carryover from my last start," Verlander said. "I'm not somebody who is going to go home and pout about this; I'm somebody who is going to figure it out and figure it out in a hurry."
Verlander lost to the Indians two starts ago and is 14-14 lifetime against them with a 4.57 ERA in 31 starts.
Detroit slowed down the red-hot Indians on Tuesday, as Miguel Cabrera hit a two-run homer, while Andy Dirks added a solo shot and two RBI to help the Tigers take a 5-1 win.
Prince Fielder knocked in the other run and Victor Martinez contributed three hits for the Tigers, who won for only the second time in six tries.
Max Scherzer (6-0) worked eight strong innings, giving up just two hits and one run while striking out seven with one walk. He retired the final 22 batters he faced after giving up Cleveland's lone run in the bottom of the first inning, including a 98 m.p.h. fastball to Drew Stubbs to complete his outing.
"He knew that was going to be it," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "He really cranked it up. That was pretty impressive."
Michael Bourn finished with two hits and scored the lone run on Michael Brantley's sacrifice fly for the Indians, whose five-game win streak came to an end.
Corey Kluber (3-3) lasted 6 1/3 frames in defeat, allowing eight hits and three runs despite fanning eight.
Hoping to get the Tribe back on track Wednesday will be inconsistent righty Ubaldo Jimenez, who has won his last three decisions and is pitching to a 1.90 ERA over his last four starts. Jimenez, though, did not get a decision on Friday versus Seattle, but pitched well, as he gave up two runs and seven hits in five innings of his team's 6-3 win. He is 3-2 on the year with a 5.31 ERA.
Cleveland has won six of Jimenez's eight starts this season.
Jimenez beat Detroit and Verlander two starts ago, but is 5-7 in 14 starts against the Tigers with a 4.79 ERA.
Cleveland, which is 7-10 in games following a loss this season, took two of three from the Tigers earlier in the year.