(Sports Network) - Two of the best pitchers in baseball face off this evening when CC Sabathia and the New York Yankees continue their four-game series against Justin Verlander and the Detroit Tigers at Yankee Stadium.
Sabathia, who will be trying to become the American League's first 16-game winner with a victory this evening, won his second straight start on Thursday in Kansas City, as he allowed three runs and 10 hits in 8 2/3 innings to improve to 15-5 to go along with a 3.14 earned run average.
"Getting that close and one out away, but I've got a lot of confidence in (David Robertson) in the bullpen," Sabathia said. "They picked me up tonight."
Sabathia, who pitched the first seven-plus years of his career in the American League Central, is no stranger to the Tigers, having gone 14-11 against them in 29 previous matchups, while pitching to a 4.65 ERA in those outings.
Sabathia lost to Verlander and the Tigers, though, back on May 13 when he allowed six runs and nine hits in six innings.
Verlander was brilliant that day for Detroit, scattering four hits over 6 2/3 scoreless innings. He is 4-2 lifetime against the Yankees with a 3.63 ERA in seven starts.
The right-hander won for the first time in four starts on Wednesday against Tampa Bay, holding the Rays to a run and six hits in six innings to run his record to 13-7 on the year.
Detroit drew first blood in this series on Monday when Ryan Raburn continued his recent home run barrage by drilling a two-run shot off Javier Vazquez in the second inning, as the Tigers held on for a 3-1 win.
Max Scherzer (8-9) allowed two hits, walked two and struck out six batters over the first six innings to snap a four-start winless streak and help the Tigers to their third straight win. It was just the second win (2-6) for the right-hander on the road this season.
"For me tonight, I threw the ball well and was able to execute pitches," Scherzer said. "I was working into deep counts, but was still locating the ball well enough."
Jose Valverde walked Brett Gardner with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth, but then got Derek Jeter to ground into a game-ending double play and recorded his 23rd save of the year.
The Yankees, who are now even with Tampa Bay atop the division, have lost three of their last four.
To make matters worse Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez left Monday's game after four innings with a tight left calf muscle, while Nick Swisher departed with tightness in his right forearm while trying to make a sliding catch on Austin Jackson's single to right field in the sixth inning. Both are questionable for tonight's affair.
Vazquez (9-9) had six strikeouts, but was charged with the loss after allowing five hits and four walks over four innings.
Detroit has won four of its five meetings with the Yankees this season.