Detroit (38-29) at Philadelphia (36-32)

  • Game info: 1:35 pm EDT Sun Jun 17, 2007
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Justin Verlander returns to the mound for the first time since his no-hitter as the Detroit Tigers conclude their three-game set with the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday at Citizens Bank Park.

Verlander (7-2, 2.79 ERA) turned in the best game of his career Tuesday against Milwaukee in a 4-0 victory. The 2006 AL Rookie of the Year was dominant as he struck out 12 batters and issued four walks.

“It was the best thing that ever happened to me,” he said.

It was the Tigers’ first no-hitter since Jack Morris in 1984, and Verlander was clearly excited to finish it, still throwing 100 mph in the ninth inning. He also had his curveball and changeup working all night, along with his overpowering fastball in a 112-pitch outing for his second career complete game.

“I had way too much adrenaline, to be honest,” he said.

The right-hander also improved to 5-0 with a 1.72 ERA in five career interleague starts, although this will be his first outing against Philadelphia. Verlander also extended his scoreless inning streak to 16.

Verlander will be caught by backup catcher Mike Rabelo, since Ivan Rodriguez is expected to get the day off. Rabelo has five multihit efforts in his last seven starts and is batting .393 (11-for-28) in that span.

Tigers first baseman Sean Casey, who had four hits Friday, is expected back in the lineup after he sat out Saturday’s 6-3 loss since the Phillies (36-32) started left-hander Jamie Moyer.

Detroit (38-29) was held in check by Moyer in a 6-3 loss one day after opening the series with a 14-hit attack in a 12-8 victory. The 44-year-old Moyer gave up two runs and four hits over seven innings.

The Phillies have homered seven times in the series, with Shane Victorino connecting in each game. He’s 5-for-10 in the series and hitting .371 (13-for-35) in his last eight interleague games.

Philadelphia has won 10 of its last 14 games and has pulled within two games of the first-place New York Mets in the NL East.

“It’s nice to be in contention, but we’re not going to stop. We want to be division leaders,” Victorino said.

Philadelphia starter Adam Eaton (7-4, 5.42) can surpass his win total from last season, when he was limited to 13 starts and 65 innings due to a middle finger injury. He’s won two straight outings and four of his last five after he yielded just four hits over seven innings in a 3-0 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Monday.

“I was trying to be aggressive in the strike zone and force those guys to put the ball into play early,” Eaton said.

Eaton is 2-0 and hasn’t not allowed a run in 13 innings in two interleague starts this year. Outside of those two starts at home, he’s 1-3 with an 8.76 ERA in his other five outings at Citizens Bank Park this year.

The right-hander is facing the Tigers for the second time in his career after beating them 5-1 by yielding one run in seven innings on June 5, 2003.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Verlander DET vs. A. Eaton COL
18-6 Record 10-10
3.66 ERA 6.29
183 K 97
67 BB 71
1.23 WHIP 1.63


Sunday, Jun 17