White Sox-Tigers Preview

The Detroit Tigers signed veteran Brad Penny in the offseason to

help bolster a starting rotation led by three-time All-Star Justin

Verlander.

While Verlander remains a worthy ace, Penny has yet to step

up.

Seeking his first win of the season for the fifth time, Penny

takes the mound opposite onetime Detroit starter Edwin Jackson as

the Tigers and visiting Chicago White Sox continue their three-game

set Saturday.

Verlander, whose 85 wins since 2006 rank third in the majors,

gave up three runs and struck out eight over seven innings of

Friday’s 9-3 win over Chicago (8-12).

Detroit starters have posted a 3.09 ERA in the four games since

Penny (0-2, 8.44 ERA) last toed the rubber.

The right-hander, now in his 12th season, will look to regroup

Saturday after allowing five runs, four hits and four walks in

five-plus innings of Sunday’s 5-1 loss at Oakland.

The defeat dropped Penny, who has never faced the White Sox, to

0-6 with a 6.89 ERA over his last nine starts dating to last

season, but manager Jim Leyland isn’t concerned.

“Penny was OK,” Leyland told the Tigers’ official website. “He

had control problems in the one inning, but I don’t worry about him

at all.”

The Tigers (10-10), who have outscored the White Sox 53-20

during a seven-game winning streak in this series, had averaged

just 3.2 runs at home prior to Friday’s offensive outburst, which

was the first time this season they’d scored more than five runs at

Comerica Park. Detroit has won three straight at home, and seven of

10 overall after a 3-7 start.

Utilityman Ryan Raburn homered for the second time in as many

games and drove in a season-best four runs.

Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera is 6 for 13 over his last four

games overall, and 6 for 21 (.286) lifetime against Jackson (2-1,

3.51), who surrendered season-worsts of 11 hits and four runs over

seven innings in a 5-0 loss at Tampa Bay on Monday.

“Jackson threw the ball pretty good,” manager Ozzie Guillen

said. “We just didn’t score any runs.”

Other than two solo home runs from outfielder Carlos Quentin and

one from first baseman Paul Konerko, the While Sox couldn’t get

much going offensively again in the series opener. They’ve batted

.199 while dropping eight of their last nine games.

“Twenty games is way too early to be worried about our team,”

said White Sox starter Mark Buehrle, who gave up six runs to take

the loss Friday. “We aren’t clicking right now, but we will

be.”

Slugging designated hitter Adam Dunn and second baseman Gordon

Beckham, who was slotted eighth in the lineup after batting second

in his first 17 games, both went 0 for 4. Dunn and Beckham have a

combined three hits in their last 46 at-bats.

Dunn is 6 for 31 lifetime against Penny with 16 strikeouts, but

Quentin and Alex Rios are a combined 14 for 22.

Jackson, who went 13-9 while with Detroit in 2009, is 2-0 with a

3.21 ERA in four career road starts at Comerica.