Neither Justin Verlander(notes) nor CC Sabathia(notes) shined when the aces dueled in AL Central matchups. Since Sabathia joined the New York Yankees, Verlander has outpitched him in head-to-head matchups.
These aces met four times when Sabathia (15-5, 3.14 ERA) was with Cleveland, and neither pitched particularly well. Verlander (13-7, 3.72) went 2-1 with a 5.12 ERA, and Sabathia was 2-2 with a 6.66 ERA in those games.
Verlander is 4-2 with a 3.63 ERA in seven career outings against New York (72-46), including 2-1 with a 0.87 ERA in three when opposing Sabathia. The Yankees ace is 1-2 with a 4.29 ERA in those starts, including a 6-0 loss May 13 in which he gave up six runs over six innings while Verlander was sharp in 6 2-3 innings.
New York captain Derek Jeter(notes) is 7 for 18 against Verlander, but Yankees hitters batting left-handed haven’t fared as well. Nick Swisher(notes) is 7 for 38, Mark Teixeira(notes) 1 for 14 and Robinson Cano(notes) 4 for 17 against the right-hander.
Sabathia has won two straight, and fell one out shy of a complete game Thursday after allowing three runs in a 4-3 victory at Kansas City.
The left-hander - tied with Tampa Bay’s David Price(notes) and Minnesota’s Carl Pavano(notes) for the AL lead in victories - is 13-0 with a 2.25 ERA in his last 18 regular-season home starts. That streak began when he outdueled Verlander with seven scoreless innings in a 2-1 victory July 18, 2009.
Verlander is 0-1 with a 3.86 ERA in his last three road starts. He won Wednesday against Tampa Bay by yielding one run over six innings in a 3-2 victory.
The Tigers All-Star could be facing a depleted lineup. Rodriguez left Monday’s 3-1 loss after the fourth inning with tightness in his left calf, and is listed as day to day.
“Would I be a little surprised if he played tomorrow?” manager Joe Girardi said. “Yes, but not completely.”
The Yankees have totaled eight hits in consecutive losses, and dropped into a tie for first place in the AL East with the Rays.
“Not swinging the bats like we’d like to,” Jeter said.
Detroit (58-60) is on its first three-game win streak since a five-game run July 5-10. Johnny Damon(notes) went 0 for 3 in his return to the Bronx, receiving a standing ovation before his first at-bat after spending the previous four seasons with the Yankees.
Cabrera homered for the second straight game to give him 96 RBIs - one fewer than Rodriguez’s major league lead.