TORONTO - Fresh off watching teammate Max Scherzer run his record to 13-0, Justin Verlander is hoping to start a winning streak of his own.
Verlander looks to end a four-game winless stretch as he leads the Detroit Tigers into the finale of their four-game series with the host Toronto Blue Jays. Scherzer became the first starter in 27 years to open a season with 13 consecutive victories, throwing 6 1/3 solid innings in the Tigers' 6-2 win over the Blue Jays on Wednesday night.
Verlander takes the hill against a Toronto team that has struggled since putting together a franchise record-tying 11-game winning streak late last month. Wednesday's defeat dropped the Blue Jays to 3-7 over their last 10 games, sliding them back below the .500 mark and entrenching them in last place in the American League East. Toronto counters with right-hander Esmil Rogers in the finale.
TV: 7:07 p.m. ET, Fox Sports Detroit, RSN (Toronto)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Tigers RH Justin Verlander (8-5, 3.77 ERA) vs. Blue Jays RH Esmil Rogers (3-3, 3.12)
Verlander is mired in his longest winless slide since last August, but has deserved a better fate. The 30-year-old tossed seven shutout innings but settled for a no-decision June 12 against the Kansas City Royals, and suffered the same fate last time out despite limiting Tampa Bay to three runs (two earned) over eight innings. Verlander is 2-2 with a 4.59 ERA in 49 career innings against Toronto.
With the Blue Jays' rotation still in flux, Rogers has earned himself an extended stay with some great performances. The reliever-turned-starter had his best outing of the year in his last turn, holding the Boston Red Sox to six hits over six shutout innings. Rogers is 1-0 with a 1.86 ERA in 9 2/3 innings versus the Tigers, but was tagged for two runs in two frames in their last encounter April 11.
1. 1B Adam Lind is 4-for-14 with a pair of home runs and seven RBIs all-time against Verlander.
2. The Tigers lead the season series 4-2.
3. Toronto C J.P. Arencibia has just two hits in his last 26 at-bats, dropping his average to .216.
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