Tigers aim to back Verlander vs. Astros

The Detroit Tigers hope to have some scoring punch left over from their fantastic showing on Saturday as they close out a four-game set against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park today.

For the fourth time this season the Tigers generated double-digit runs, but this time they topped all of their previous efforts on the campaign as they delivered a lopsided 17-2 final over Houston yesterday. Detroit, which has won three straight and eight of the last nine, has now outscored the hosts in this series by a count of 28-8.

Doing a good portion of the damage was the 2012 American League Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera, who tied a career-high with six RBI, giving him a league-best 36 on the campaign. Cabrera belted a pair of home runs as he finished 4-of-4 at the plate and scored three times in the onslaught.

"I was swinging the bat good today," Cabrera said. "I swing at good pitches. Make something happen. It's always great to start good, give (starter) Max (Scherzer) a lot of run support."

Also having a good day was Victor Martinez, who notched a double as well as his first home run of the season, plating four overall. Now hitting a robust .361, Torii Hunter accounted for four hits, three runs and a pair of RBI as well.

With plenty of run support, Scherzer cruised through eight innings, giving up just a single run on three hits and a couple of walks, striking out eight along the way.

Over on the other side, Lucas Harrell was saddled with his third loss of the campaign. He was rocked for eight runs on 10 hits and four bases-on-balls in a mere 4 1/3 innings of work.

"I made some good, quality pitches and they just made better hits," Harrell said of the Detroit attack. "And then as the game wore on I made some good pitches, and then I made a mistake to Cabrera in and he does what he does."

Of the six hits produced by Houston, a team which has the worst record in the majors, two came from Carlos Corporan, one of which was his second home run of the season.

Needing just five more strikeouts to reach 1,500 for his career, Justin Verlander is set to take his place on the mound for the Tigers this afternoon in Texas. The 2011 AL Cy Young Award winner is trying to log back-to-back wins for the first time in 2013.

On Tuesday Verlander permitted just a single run on five hits and a couple of walks through seven innings in a 6-1 win against Minnesota. The right-hander struck out eight, his second-highest total of the campaign behind the 12 logged versus Seattle in one of his two setbacks.

The Virginia native is making only his third all-time start versus Houston, sporting a 1-0 mark with a 2.03 ERA.

Just over a year ago Philip Humber was celebrating the 21st perfect game in major league history while pitching for the Chicago White Sox, but now with Houston he's just hoping to finally break into the win column after six disappointing outcomes.

The right-hander, who is actually a Texas native who attended Rice, has been overwhelmed nearly every time he has taken the ball for the Astros. Against the New York Yankees on the road Tuesday, Humber gave up four runs on nine hits and a couple of walks, striking out just two in six innings of work as he fell to 0-6, yet saw his ERA dip to 7.58.

Humber has a career record of 1-2 in five all-time appearances against Detroit, surrendering five home runs and a total of 18 hits in just 15 innings of action.