Arizona (43-34) at Detroit (40-36)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Detroit, MI
Temp: 72° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Sat Jun 25, 2011
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Though the season hasn’t quite reached the halfway point, Justin Verlander(notes) is already building a strong case to win his first AL Cy Young Award.

The surging Arizona Diamondbacks want to be one of the few teams able to pin a loss on the Detroit Tigers ace.

Verlander will try to win his sixth straight start as the Tigers continue their weekend series Saturday night with the Diamondbacks, who seek their eighth consecutive road win.

Verlander (9-3, 2.54 ERA) also is in search of his third complete game in a row - and he might have a hard time topping the last two.

The right-hander came within five outs of his second no-hitter this year, limiting Cleveland to two hits and fanning a season-best 12 on June 14. He then won his seventh straight decision by holding the Rockies to four hits in a 9-1 victory at Colorado on Sunday.

Verlander, who matched last season’s total with his fourth complete game, wasn’t entirely pleased with his effort.

“This start wasn’t that great,” he said. “Early in the game especially, my fastball control wasn’t anywhere near where it should be.”

Regardless, Verlander was named co-AL player of the week Monday with Tampa Bay’s James Shields(notes).

Verlander looks to help the Tigers (40-36) rebound from a tough loss Friday, when Arizona erased an early four-run deficit for a 7-6 victory.

Back in the majors for the first time in three years, Wily Mo Pena(notes) had two hits, including his second homer since his recall Tuesday, and drove in two. Pena’s estimated 454-foot blast was the longest by an opposing player at Comerica Park, which opened in 2000.

“He has big-time power. He always has,” Detroit manager Jim Leyland said of Pena, 0 for 3 lifetime against Verlander.

Xavier Nady(notes) added two hits and three RBIs as the NL West-leading Diamondbacks (43-34) improved to 4-0 in interleague road games this year.

Casper Wells(notes) doubled, homered, knocked in two and scored twice for the Tigers, who have dropped three of four. Detroit also fell to 3-7 against NL clubs in 2011.

Mired in the first slump of his rookie season, Josh Collmenter(notes) (4-3, 2.09) will take the ball for Arizona.

The Michigan native is 0-2 with a 6.00 ERA while losing his last two starts. He gave up three runs and five hits over seven innings Sunday in an 8-2 loss to the Chicago White Sox.

“I had good command, back to my normal stuff,” the right-hander said. “Other than the seventh inning, everything went well. In the seventh, a couple of bad pitches.”

Collmenter is 1-1 with a 1.69 ERA in four road starts, with the Diamondbacks going 3-1.

He’ll want to keep an eye on Victor Martinez(notes). Detroit’s designated hitter is batting .448 (13 for 29) with one homer and nine RBIs in a season-high eight-game hitting streak at home.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Collmenter Ari vs. J. Verlander Det
10-10 Record 24-5
3.38 ERA 2.40
100 K 250
28 BB 57
1.07 WHIP 0.92


Saturday, Jun 25