American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, August 11th
(All times eastern)
Detroit Tigers (61-52) at Texas Rangers (65-46), 8:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Detroit - Justin Verlander (12-7, 2.51)
Texas - Derek Hollland (7-6, 5.18)
(Sports Network) - A year after winning both the American League Cy Young and
the MVP, Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander has further proven
himself as one of the game's best with an outstanding 2012 season.
At 12-7, Verlander seems unlikely to match his 24 wins from a season ago, but
that doesn't mean he has been any less dominating. His 2.51 ERA is third-best
in the AL and his 166 strikeouts are tops in the majors.
The hard-throwing right-hander is fresh off one of his best performances of
the year, pitching eight innings in a 7-2 win over the Yankees on Aug. 6,
allowing eight hits, one walk, and two unearned runs while matching a career-
high with 14 strikeouts.
"Did you see some of those pitches?" Tigers catcher Alex Avila said of
Verlander, who has still clocking 100 mph on the radar gun in the eighth
inning. "That last curveball (that struck out Ichiro), I don't think anybody
could hit it. I had trouble enough catching it."
Verlander has had his way pitching in Arlington, winning all three of his
starts there with a 1.29 ERA.
The Rangers will counter with Derek Holland, who's been spotty at best this
season with a 7-6 record and a 5.18 ERA.
The southpaw was knocked around in his last start, allowing eight hits, two
walks, and six earned runs over six innings in a no decision against the
Royals on Aug. 5. He's now allowed six earned runs in three of his six starts
since coming off the DL on July 7.
Holland has just one career start against the Tigers, and though he lasted
only four innings, he allowed just one earned run and struck out five.
In the first game of a weekend set on Friday night, the Tigers came out
The majority of Detroit's damage came in a four-run sixth inning, highlighted
by a three-run home run from Prince Fielder, his 20th of the season.
"When you have Prince in your lineup, you're always one swing away from
getting the back in your favor," Tigers starter Max Scherzer said.
"That's kind of what happened."
Austin Jackson added an inside-the-park homer in the top of the seventh for
good measure. Jackson, Avila, Miguel Cabrera all had two hits apiece for the
Scherzer (11-6) struggled with base runners all night but managed to keep
the damage to a minimum, allowing eight hits and two walks but just two earned
runs over six innings of work, striking out eight in the process. Octavio
Dotel and Jose Valverde combined for three innings of scoreless ball out of
After allowing just three earned runs over his previous 22 2/3 innings, Scott
Feldman (6-7) came back down to this time around, surrendering four
earned runs in 5 2/3 innings in the loss.
Josh Hamilton blasted his 31st homer of the season, which ties the White Sox's
Adam Dunn for tops in the majors.
The Rangers have won five of eight encounters with the Tigers this season.
08/11 10:23:56 ET