Now that their longest winning streak of the season is over, the Detroit Tigers look to get their offense back on track when they wrap up their three-game series against the Seattle Mariners on Thursday.
The Tigers (20-12) had reeled off eight straight victories before being routed 9-2 on Wednesday behind a six-hitter from Mariners rookie Cha Seung Baek. Detroit was in fourth place in the AL Central before its winning streak began, but starts play in second-place just one-half game behind division-leading Cleveland.
“Eventually it was (going to end),” the Tigers’ Curtis Granderson told the team’s official Web site. “The good thing is, we get a chance to come back tomorrow and hopefully start another one.”
The Tigers have a good chance to get their offense going again when they face Jeff Weaver (0-5, 15.35 ERA), who is looking to avoid another disastrous outing.
Weaver has taken the loss in all of his starts this year, giving up at least six runs in four of them. He’s pitched more than three innings only twice and opponents are batting a robust .465 when facing him.
The right-hander threw a season-high 108 pitches, but allowed six runs and nine hits in 5 2-3 innings of Seattle’s 8-1 loss to the New York Yankees on Saturday
“When it goes bad, it goes bad, but this was a step in the right direction,” Weaver told the team’s official Web site. “I felt a lot better out there, not worrying about mechanics or arm angle. It was nice to get past the third inning and throw more than 100 pitches.”
Weaver started his career with Detroit in 1999 before being traded to the Yankees in 2002, and is 1-2 with a 2.53 ERA in three career starts against his the Tigers. Before finishing last season with the world champion St. Louis Cardinals, Weaver he gave up two runs and five hits in 7 1-3 innings of the Los Angeles Angels’ 2-1 loss to the Tigers on May 3.
Justin Verlander (2-1, 2.75) starts for Detroit—and goes for his first win against a team other than Kansas City.
After lasting a season-low three innings in an 11-3 loss to Minnesota on April 28, Verlander gave up two runs and seven hits in seven innings of a 6-3 victory over the Royals on Friday.
“It’s just one of those things,” Verlander said of his success against Kansas City. “Sometimes certain pitchers match up against certain teams, but I don’t think that’s the case here.”
Verlander, who won 17 games last season, has made five quality starts this year, but hasn’t had much luck. Excluding the wins over Kansas City, the right-hander has allowed seven earned runs in four starts while getting just seven runs of support.
In his only career start against the Mariners, Verlander gave up one run and four hits in seven innings of a 6-4 victory on April 23, 2006.
Seattle (15-14) scored three times in three straight innings Wednesday and has a season-high tying six doubles among 16 hits.
Ichiro Suzuki is hitting .385 (5-for-13) with three doubles in his last three games, after batting .091 (2-for-22) in his first six games this month. Suzuki has one hit in three career at-bats versus Verlander.