Verlander looks for his first win at U.S. Cellular Field when the AL Central-leading Tigers wrap up their five-game series with the White Sox on Thursday.
After being swept in Tuesday’s doubleheader, Detroit (60-40) defeated Chicago 13-9 Wednesday to remain 1 1/2 games ahead of second-place Cleveland in the division.
The Tigers improved to 34-19 away from Comerica Park with Wednesday’s win, while the White Sox have the second-worst home record in the majors (21-27).
Verlander (11-3, 3.40 ERA) has been a key component to Detroit’s road success, as the Tigers are 7-2 in his road starts this season.
The right-hander is 6-1 away from Detroit with the AL’s sixth-best road ERA at 2.87. The All-Star has won a career-high four straight road starts, and is hoping to carry that momentum to the South Side of Chicago (45-56), where he has lost all three of his career outings.
Verlander has an 8.04 ERA at U.S. Cellular Field, as the White Sox have hit seven home runs in 15 2-3 innings in those games.
He’s 1-4 with a 6.96 ERA in six career starts against Chicago, and in his only outing against the club this season, he gave up three runs and four hits in seven innings of a 6-5, 12-inning home win on April 22.
Verlander wasn’t sharp on Saturday, yielding five runs and seven hits in 5 2-3 innings of a 10-8, 10-inning win over Kansas City. He also had a career-high three wild pitches to add to his major league-leading 14.
“I didn’t know if it was just one of those nights where your arm is a little dead or what, but like I said, I didn’t like what I was seeing,” manager Jim Leyland told the team’s official Web site.
The Tigers are 14-5 in Verlander’s starts this season, and have won seven of the last eight times he’s taken the mound.
Detroit avoided its first three-game slide since May 30-June 1 by getting a major lift on Wednesday from Ryan Raburn, who hit two homers and drove in seven runs.
“I think it’s probably the best game I’ve ever had, and probably ever will,” said Raburn, who started for the injured Gary Sheffield (shoulder).
The 26-year-old Raburn is 10-for-20 with three homer and 10 RBIs in nine games since being called up from Triple-A Toledo on July 6.
Jermaine Dye, who hit his 17th homer of the season Wednesday, is batting .467 (7-for-15) with three homers in his career against Verlander, while Jim Thome is 6-for-13 (.462) with four homers lifetime against him.
John Danks (6-7, 4.88) takes the hill Thursday looking to help the White Sox win their first series at home since taking two of three over Oakland May 21-23.
Danks gave up four runs, seven hits and three walks in six innings of an 11-2 loss to Boston on Saturday, his first defeat since June 8. He was 3-0 over his last six starts despite a 5.61 ERA.
The rookie left-hander is 0-1 in two starts against the Tigers, giving up eight runs and 15 hits in 10 2-3 innings in those games.