Angels hitters have work cut out against Tigers' Justin Verlander
The Angels must contend with one of baseball's best pitchers Tuesday night when they face Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander in Angel Stadium. Right-hander Dan Haren will start for the Angels, who have won nine of their last 11 games and are tied with Texas for first place in the American League West.
Verlander was named American League pitcher of the month for June on Tuesday after going 6-0 with an 0.92 ERA in six starts. On the season, the hard-throwing right-hander is 11-3 with a 2.32 ERA and an AL-leading 130 strikeouts. He is tied for the league lead with 11 wins, second with a .184 batting average against and fourth in ERA.
"He's throwing the ball better now than he has in his whole career," Angels Manager Mike Scioscia said. "No doubt, you have to pressure him and piece together some offense, because you rarely get the big inning against a pitcher of his caliber."
Verlander is 3-3 with a 4.53 ERA in nine career starts against the Angels. Several players in tonight's lineup have had success against Verlander, including Maicer Izturis, who has a .500 (9 for 18) career average against him, Vernon Wells, who has a .439 (6 for 14) mark, Erick Aybar, who has a .389 average (7 for 18), and Bobby Abreu, who has a .318 (7 for 22, one home run) mark.
The Angels lineup: 3B Maicer Izturis, RF Torii Hunter, DH Bobby Abreu, LF Vernon Wells, 2B Howie Kendrick, SS Erick Aybar, 1B Mark Trumbo, CF Peter Bourjos, C Jeff Mathis, P Dan Haren.
The Tigers lineup: CF Austin Jackson, LF Brennan Boesch, RF Magglio Ordonez, DH Miguel Cabrera, 1B Victor Martinez, SS Jhonny Peralta, C Alex Avila, 2B Ryan Raburn, 3B Don Kelly, P Justin Verlander.
Photo: Justin Verlander. Credit: Leon Halip / Getty Images.