(SportsNetwork.com) - A day after adding David Price to their starting rotation, the Detroit Tigers will send Justin Verlander to the mound in Friday's series opener against the Colorado Rockies.
Detroit parted with left-hander Drew Smyly, shortstop Willy Adames and outfielder Austin Jackson to land Price, the 2012 AL Cy Young winner who has been on a tear of late. Price joins fellow Cy Young winners Max Scherzer (2013) and Verlander (2011) in what promises to be a daunting rotation come playoff time. Also in the mix are 12-game winner Rick Porcello and Anibal Sanchez, who had a league-best 2.57 ERA last season.
"We're built to try to go for it," general manager Dave Dombrowski said. "We've played well, but I think we can play better. ... You can put out whoever you want but you still have to perform and get it done."
The first order of business comes Friday night when Verlander toes the rubber to kick off a three-game interleague series. The right-hander has gone a ridiculous 24-2 with a career 2.75 ERA against National League foes. Verlander is 3-0 against the NL this season but is looking to rebound from a loss to the Los Angeles Angels his last time out. He went seven innings in that start and yielded three earned runs on six hits, striking out four and walking three.
Franklin Morales gets the nod for Colorado. The southpaw walked five batters and lasted just four innings against Pittsburgh in his last outing. He gave up two runs on six hits before exiting.
Morales, who has shuffled between the bullpen and starting rotation this season, is 5-5 with a 5.18 ERA in 24 games (15 starts).
Colorado has struggled amidst injuries to offensive stalwarts Troy Tulowitzki (hip) and Michael Cuddyer (shoulder). The Rockies have lost 15 of their last 17 on the road after dropping three of four to the Cubs in Chicago this week.
On Thursday, the offense was unable to solve Cubs starter Jake Arrieta, managing only three hits in seven innings to go along with seven strikeouts. The first 14 batters were retired as the Rockies went on to lose, 3-1.
Detroit currently holds a four-game lead over Kansas City in the AL Central standings despite dropping five of its last six, including Thursday's 7-4 setback to the Chicago White Sox. Smyly surrendered four runs on 11 hits in five innings of work, then was shipped off to Tampa Bay in the Price trade.
This is the first time these teams have met since 2012 when Detroit won a three-game set against the Rockies.