Justin Verlander hasn't strung consecutive wins together in over a month and gets the ball for the Detroit Tigers Tuesday versus the Chicago White Sox in the opener of a three-game series from Comerica Park.
Verlander won four straight starts from May 22-June 7 and halted a four-game winless drought (0-1) on July 4 in an 11-1 beating of the Toronto Blue Jays. Verlander kept the Jays off the board through seven innings and scattered three hits, while improving to 9-5 in 18 starts with a 3.54 ERA.
The hard-throwing right-hander has posted double-digit victories in each of the past seven seasons and looks to make it eight against the White Sox. He is 14-10 with a 3.93 ERA in 27 career starts in this series.
Detroit completed an 11-game road trip with a 7-4 mark and just took three of four from the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Max Scherzer was aiming for a 14-0 start in Monday's 4-2 victory in 10 innings, but settled with the no-decision after allowing two runs in seven innings with seven strikeouts.
"I thought we battled so hard tonight. I thought they gave a great effort. They brought their A game, but I thought we did the same," Scherzer said.
Victor Martinez made a winner out of Drew Smyly with a two-run double in the top of the 10th inning. Smyly tossed a scoreless ninth inning and Joaquin Benoit worked around two hits in the 10th for his seventh save.
Matt Tuiasosopo homered for the Tigers, who are 3 1/2 games ahead of the Indians for the AL Central lead and will start a six-game homestand Tuesday versus the White Sox and Texas Rangers.
Chicago is coming off Monday's 8-2 loss to the Cubs in what was a makeup game from a May 28 rainout. Hector Santiago pitched well in the no-decision for the White Sox and lasted 5 1/3 innings, allowing two runs and five hits. Matt Thornton took the loss for giving up three runs in relief.
"You just try to go out there and put up zeros. Just give us a chance to win," Santiago said.
Josh Phegley homered for the second straight game for the White Sox, losers in four straight and 10 of the past 12 games. The White Sox lost all four meetings with the Cubs this season.
The White Sox will try to stop a four-game road slide Tuesday.
Chicago starter Jose Quintana hasn't posted a decision in each of his last seven starts and hopes for a positive outing Tuesday. Quintana's last decision was a loss to the Cubs on May 27 and he was solid in his most recent appearance, a 3-2 win over Baltimore.
Quintana held the Orioles to just two hits in seven shutout innings and struck out 11 batters with just one walk. It was arguably the left-hander's best outing of the season, but it wasn't enough. Quintana is 3-2 in 17 starts to go along with a 3.69 earned run average this season and 1-0 in two career starts against the Tigers.
The White Sox and Tigers are meeting for the first time since the Tigers went 12-6 a season ago.