Miguel Cabrera is on a tear, and that’s pretty common against
Justin Verlander is trying to continue his own success at home
versus New York in order to avoid his longest slide in almost four
Cabrera will try to help Verlander avert a rare three-start
losing streak Sunday as the Detroit Tigers finish their series with
Cabrera is hitting .405 with seven doubles, three homers and
nine RBIs in his last eight games, with 10 hits in 19 at-bats over
the last four.
The six-time All-Star continued that staggering offensive pace
Saturday, collecting three hits with a double and a pair of mammoth
solo homers before third-string catcher Omir Santos’ ninth-inning
sacrifice fly clinched a 4-3 win over New York (28-24).
Cabrera’s homers were estimated at 436 and 433 feet.
“That was a lot of footage, to say the least,” manager Jim
Leyland said. “But that’s just what that guy’s capable of
The third baseman has made a habit of feasting on Yankees
pitching in the regular season, hitting .378 with 13 homers and 33
RBIs in 35 meetings. He wasn’t that productive in last year’s AL
division series, going 3 for 15 with one homer, but the Tigers
(25-28) still ousted New York in five games.
Verlander (5-3, 2.55 ERA) won Game 3, yielding four runs but
striking out 11 in eight innings of a 5-4 victory at Comerica
Including that start, he’s 3-0 with a 2.28 ERA and 32 strikeouts
in 27 2-3 innings over his last four starts versus the Yankees
there. He wasn’t as sharp against New York in the Bronx on April
27, allowing five runs and seven hits – two homers – in six innings
of the Tigers’ 7-6 loss.
Verlander may be eager to return home – he has a 1.37 ERA in
Detroit this year – after losing back-to-back starts on the road.
He struggled in Boston on Tuesday, allowing five runs and 10 hits
in six innings of a 6-3 defeat.
“He just wasn’t himself, he just wasn’t sharp. That happens,”
Verlander hasn’t lost three starts in a row since dropping four
straight July 26-Aug. 11, 2008.
The Yankees will counter with Phil Hughes (4-5, 5.64), who is
looking to rebound from perhaps his worst performance of the
The right-hander was tagged for season highs of seven runs and
11 hits in 5 1-3 innings of New York’s 9-8 loss to the Los Angeles
Angels on Monday.
“On a night when the offense is doing so well and swinging the
bats, it’s a tough one to swallow,” Hughes said.
It was another tough outing on the road, where Hughes is 1-3
with a 6.57 ERA while allowing opponents to hit .318 in five
Visits to Detroit, however, have been much better. He’s 2-1 with
a 2.25 ERA in four games – three starts – at Comerica Park, and
hasn’t allowed a run in 14 innings over his last three appearances
there. That includes a perfect inning of relief to help the Yankees
win Game 4 of last year’s ALDS.
Hughes, though, probably isn’t looking forward to facing
Cabrera. The Detroit slugger has dominated their matchup, going 7
for 14 with three homers and a double.
Detroit may not have reliever Joaquin Benoit available Sunday
after he experienced forearm tightness Saturday.
The Tigers will honor Magglio Ordonez with a retirement ceremony
before the game.