(Sports Network) - Detroit Tigers All-Star Justin Verlander targets his major league-leading 12th win of the season when he puts a lengthy unbeaten streak to the test this evening in the continuation of a three-game road series against the LA Angels of Anaheim.
Verlander and New York Yankees snubbed All-Star CC Sabathia are both trying to reach the 12-win mark tonight, as Sabathia takes on his former club in Cleveland three hours before the Tigers and Angels resume their set. Verlander has won seven straight starts and is 9-0 with a 1.54 earned run average in his last 11 trips to the mound, with Detroit going 10-1 in that stretch.
The right-hander kept the New York Mets in check during Thursday's 5-2 victory at Comerica Park, allowing only one run on seven hits in seven innings to improve to 11-3 with a 2.32 ERA in 18 starts. He struck out six batters, just one outing after fanning 14 in eight scoreless innings of a 6-0 verdict over Arizona on June 25. He has gone the distance three times during his current undefeated streak.
Verlander is 4-1 in seven road starts this season and owns a 3-3 mark with a pedestrian 4.53 ERA in nine career starts against the Angels. If Verlander wins tonight, he will become the third Tigers pitcher in 23 years to win eight straight starts, joining Jeremy Bonderman and Dave Mlicki. He has pitched at least six innings in each of his 18 starts in 2011.
Detroit didn't receive a Verlander-type performance from Charlie Furbush last night in his first career start. Furbush was trimmed for three runs and five hits in 4 2/3 innings to absorb the loss, but managed to strike out five batters and issue just one walk.
"I thought he [Furbush] did pretty good," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "They seemed to be standing wherever we hit it."
Jhonny Peralta drove in Magglio Ordonez with an RBI single in the fourth inning to provide the scoring for the Tigers, who lost for the fifth time in seven tries and opened a seven-game road trip in defeat. Detroit will also visit Kansas City for four games and is 1 1/2 games behind Cleveland for the top spot in the American League Central.
Meanwhile, the Angels have won three in a row, six of seven and 11 of their last 14 games to forge a tie atop the AL West with Texas. In last night's triumph over the Tigers, Joel Pineiro threw seven innings of one-run ball for the win, while Torii Hunter and Vernon Wells both homered.
"It was just a well-rounded game," said outfielder Peter Bourjos, who made a great catch in the sixth inning on Miguel Cabrera's hit to keep his team in front. "I felt good offensively and defensively."
Wells had two hits and two runs scored, while Mark Trumbo finished 2-for-4 with an RBI for Anaheim, which is 6-1 on a season-long 13-game homestand and has won each of its last six series. The Halos will also welcome Seattle to the Big A for four games this week.
Getting the call for the Angels on Tuesday will be Dan Haren, who has won back-to-back starts and is 4-2 in his previous six decisions. Haren posted his second straight win in last Wednesday's 1-0 triumph over Washington, as he hurled 7 1/3 shutout innings and allowed two hits with six K's and one walk.
Haren improved to 8-5 in 18 games (17 starts) this season and lowered his ERA from 3.05 to 2.85. The right-hander is 3-3 in eight games, seven of which have been starts, at the Big A this season and is 2-4 with a lofty 4.93 ERA in seven lifetime appearances -- all starts -- against the Tigers.
Detroit took six of 10 meetings with Anaheim a season ago and is 10-6 in the past 16 matchups between the two teams.