Sunday, April 10, 2016

Verlander, Tanaka to face off in rubber game

A premium pitching matchup will accompany another chilly forecast Sunday evening as the Tigers entertain the Yankees in the rubber game of a three-game series at Comerica Park. 
Justin Verlander will try again for his first victory of the season as he makes his 18th career start against the Yankees. Verlander did not factor in the decision on Opening Day against the Marlins in Miami, allowing three runs and three hits in six innings.
Masahiro Tanaka gets the ball for New York in his third career start against Detroit. Tanaka calmed the Yankees' concerns about his surgically repaired right elbow by working 5 2/3 innings of two-run ball in the season opener against the Astros. 
Three things to know
• Alex Rodriguez enters play Sunday with a .331 (176-for-53) batting average against the Tigers, his highest batting average against any current American League opponent. Rodriguez has hit a home run in each of the last four regular-season games in which he has faced Verlander, including his 3,000th career hit last June 19.
• Verlander is 5-7 with a 4.03 ERA in his previous 17 starts against the Yankees. The 33-year-old has been dominant in his career against Mark Teixeira (3-for-43, one homer, 13 strikeouts) and is 81-43 with a 3.26 ERA in his career at Comerica.
• Tanaka is seeking his first victory against the Tigers, having faced them twice last year. J.D. Martinez could present some trouble for Tanaka; he homered twice off the right-hander in a 12-4 Tigers victory last June 21 at Yankee Stadium.

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