David Purcey (0-2, 7.01) vs. Justin Verlander (16-8, 3.24), 7:05 p.m. EST
It's already felt like a loonng series with the Blue Jays, but since this is a four-gamer, the Tigers have a chance to earn a split in tonight's finale.
David Purcey rejoins the Jays' starting rotation after finishing up his season in Triple-A. That Purcey was even demoted (if that's what you'd call being assigned to Las Vegas) might be news to Tigers fans who might remember how well he pitched against Detroit in his first start of the season. In that game, he allowed three runs (two earned) and five hits over seven innings. Purcey finished with a 9-6 record and 4.46 ERA in Triple-A. In three career appearances versus the Tigers, he has a 1.56 ERA.
Justin Verlander still has a shot at a 20-win season. But to get there, he can't take another tough loss like he did in his last start. Verlander held the Royals to one run and six hits over six innings, but the Tigers' lineup couldn't score any runs against Robinson Tejeda. (We'll just look past the meltdown by Fernando Rodney that occurred later in the game.) Verlander has allowed four runs in his last three starts (22 innings). But the Blue Jays tagged him good on Opening Day, scoring eight runs in less than four innings.
It's a near all-righty lineup against the lefty Purcey. Ryan Raburn leads off and starts in left field. Marcus Thames is the DH, and Adam Everett plays at shortstop. Curtis Granderson gets pushed down to seventh once again. Can he get a hit against a left-handed pitcher tonight?