(AP) — Neither Justin Verlander nor CC Sabathia shined when the aces dueled in AL Central matchups. Since Sabathia joined the New York Yankees, Verlander has outpitched him in head-to-head matchups.
They will meet for the second time this season Tuesday night when Verlander’s Detroit Tigers continue a four-game road series against the Yankees, who could be without Alex Rodriguez.
These aces met four times when Sabathia (15-5, 3.14 ERA) was with Cleveland, and neither pitched particularly well. Verlander (13-7, 3.72) went 2-1 with a 5.12 ERA, and Sabathia was 2-2 with a 6.66 ERA in those games.
Verlander is 4-2 with a 3.63 ERA in seven career outings against New York (72-46), including 2-1 with a 0.87 ERA in three when opposing Sabathia. The Yankees ace is 1-2 with a 4.29 ERA in those starts, including a 6-0 loss May 13 in which he gave up six runs over six innings while Verlander was sharp in 6 2-3 innings.
New York captain Derek Jeter is 7 for 18 against Verlander, but Yankees hitters batting left-handed haven’t fared as well. Nick Swisher is 7 for 38, Mark Teixeira 1 for 14 and Robinson Cano 4 for 17 against the right-hander.
Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera, meanwhile, is 7 for 11 with two homers and nine RBIs against Sabathia.
Sabathia has won two straight, and fell one out shy of a complete game Thursday after allowing three runs in a 4-3 victory at Kansas City.
The left-hander – tied with Tampa Bay’s David Price and Minnesota’s Carl Pavano for the AL lead in victories – is 13-0 with a 2.25 ERA in his last 18 regular-season home starts. That streak began when he outdueled Verlander with seven scoreless innings in a 2-1 victory July 18, 2009.
Verlander is 0-1 with a 3.86 ERA in his last three road starts. He won Wednesday against Tampa Bay by yielding one run over six innings in a 3-2 victory.
The Tigers All-Star could be facing a depleted lineup. Rodriguez left Monday’s 3-1 loss after the fourth inning with tightness in his left calf, and is listed as day to day.
“Would I be a little surprised if he played tomorrow?” manager Joe Girardi said. “Yes, but not completely.”
Swisher came out in the sixth with tightness in his right forearm, and Lance Berkman missed the game with a right ankle injury suffered Sunday at Kansas City. Both are day to day.
The Yankees have totaled eight hits in consecutive losses, and dropped into a tie for first place in the AL East with the Rays.
“Not swinging the bats like we’d like to,” Jeter said.
Detroit (58-60) is on its first three-game win streak since a five-game run July 5-10. Johnny Damon went 0 for 3 in his return to the Bronx, receiving a standing ovation before his first at-bat after spending the previous four seasons with the Yankees.
Cabrera homered for the second straight game to give him 96 RBIs – one fewer than Rodriguez’s major league lead.
Yankees center fielder Curtis Granderson went 3 for 3 in his first game against his former team. Granderson played his first six seasons with the Tigers.
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