Cabrera will try to end his struggles against Peavy and lead the Tigers to their sixth win in seven games as they wrap up a weekend road set against the Chicago White Sox on Sunday.
Cabrera’s two-run homer with two outs in the top of the ninth inning lifted Detroit to a 4-2 win Saturday. It was his third homer in five games, and 12th of the year.
“If they want to pitch to me, they pitch to me. I try and look for one pitch I can drive,” Cabrera said.
That’s not been the case against Peavy. Though Cabrera is a .313 hitter with 259 career homers, he’s 2 for 22 with 10 strikeouts lifetime against the 2007 NL Cy Young Award winner. The .091 average is Cabrera’s lowest against any pitcher with a minimum of 20 at-bats.
The White Sox have benefited from Peavy (2-0, 3.24 ERA) being back in the rotation as he continues a successful comeback from groundbreaking arm surgery. In four starts, he’s surrendered nine runs and 21 hits in 25 innings with Chicago winning each time.
The right-hander gave up three runs and six hits in seven innings of the White Sox’s 7-3 win at Boston on Monday.
“It was just a grind. I really had nothing,” said Peavy, who threw a season-high 112 pitches. “A start like that can make or break your season. I think my arm’s still getting stronger on a daily basis.”
Peavy will be facing the Tigers (30-27) for the first time since the final week of the 2009 season. He’s won his last two starts against them, allowing eight hits in 15 scoreless innings while walking four and striking out 13.
Penny (4-4, 4.72) picked up his first win in 2011 when he held Chicago to one hit in seven innings of a 9-0 victory April 23. He has never pitched in U.S. Cellular Field.
The right-hander hopes to begin June on the right foot. He opened May by going 3-0 with a 0.83 ERA, but was 0-1 with a 7.71 ERA in his final two appearances. Last Monday, Penny was tagged for five runs and a season-high 10 hits in six innings, but escaped without a decision in the Tigers’ 6-5 win over Minnesota.
Still, he said it was the best he’s felt after a back injury limited him to only nine starts in 2010.
“It’s nice to have my strength all the way back,” Penny said.
Chicago’s Adam Dunn(notes) is 6 for 33 against Penny with 17 strikeouts - his second-highest total against any pitcher. Dunn went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts Saturday, dropping his average to .178. A five-time 40-home run hitter, Dunn has just five this year, and hasn’t gone deep at home since May 1.
The White Sox (28-32) are not expected to have Paul Konerko(notes) available for the third straight game after undergoing a minor medical procedure to dislodge a loose fragment in his left wrist Friday. Konerko has 12 homers and leads Chicago with 44 RBIs and a .310 average.