While Miguel Cabrera won’t let a few nagging injuries slow him
down, Justin Verlander should be more than ready to continue his
recent dominance of the Minnesota Twins.
As Cabrera deals with his ailing body, Verlander looks to avoid
a third straight winless outing Thursday against the visiting
Plagued by groin, abdominal and hip issues, Cabrera still
delivered a three-run double in the eighth inning Wednesday to help
Detroit (74-52) even this three-game set with a 7-1 victory.
“I was pleased with his health,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland
Cabrera leads the majors with a .358 average and has recorded
eight of his major league-leading 123 RBIs in the last four games.
However, with the Tigers boasting a 5 1/2-game lead in the AL
Central, there’s a chance he could be rested for this day game
following a night contest.
“We may have to give him days here, days there, and then we have
the comfort to give him three or four days – obviously we do and we
have,” head athletic trainer Kevin Rand told the Tigers’ official
The Tigers aren’t lacking for support.
Austin Jackson is 7 for 14 in three games since he endured a
1-for-24 stretch. He’s 9 for 19 in his last four versus
Verlander (12-9, 3.51 ERA) is 0-1 in his last two starts, but he
allowed two runs in eight innings of a 2-1 loss to Kansas City on
“I feel that my stuff has been better, specifically my breaking
ball,” he said. “I’m definitely happy where I’m heading going into
the last month of the year and hopefully the postseason.”
Facing Minnesota (55-70) could make Verlander feel even better
Since losing 2-0 to the Twins at Comerica Park on April 27,
2010, Verlander is 9-0 with a 1.67 ERA in his last 10 against them
– his longest current winning streak against any club.
The Tigers have won each contest, and he’s allowed one run and
nine hits while striking out 15 in 12 innings to win both 2013
starts versus Minnesota.
Verlander won’t face Twins star Joe Mauer – batting .371 with
three homers against him – since he’s on the 7-day disabled list
with a concussion.
Ex-Tiger and current Minnesota outfielder Wilkin Ramirez is 2
for 3 with a double versus Verlander, and 7 for 17 in his last five
Justin Morneau is 6 for 9 in the series, but 3 for his last 22
Losers in seven of nine, the Twins hope rookie Andrew Albers
(2-1, 1.85) can bounce back from his first career loss.
The left-hander did not allow a run over 17 1-3 innings of his
first two major league starts before he yielded five in seven
innings of an 8-5 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Saturday.
“The streak was great while it was going on,” Albers said. “It
was awesome to have those two nights. They’re pretty special, and
who knows if that will ever happen again.
“You see how quickly things can change, and it’s one of those
things where you’ve got to get some breaks for it to happen like