Saturday, April 23, 2011
Posted: 1:50 p.m.
The Detroit Tigers signed veteran Brad Penny in the offseason to help bolster a starting rotation led by three-time All-Star Justin Verlander.
While Verlander remains a worthy ace, Penny has yet to step up.
Seeking his first win of the season for the fifth time, Penny takes the mound opposite onetime Detroit starter Edwin Jackson as the Tigers and visiting Chicago White Sox continue their three-game set Saturday.
Verlander, whose 85 wins since 2006 rank third in the majors, gave up three runs and struck out eight over seven innings of Friday's 9-3 win over Chicago (8-12).
Detroit starters have posted a 3.09 ERA in the four games since Penny (0-2, 8.44 ERA) last toed the rubber.
The right-hander, now in his 12th season, will look to regroup Saturday after allowing five runs, four hits and four walks in five-plus innings of Sunday's 5-1 loss at Oakland.
The defeat dropped Penny, who has never faced the White Sox, to 0-6 with a 6.89 ERA over his last nine starts dating to last season, but manager Jim Leyland isn't concerned.
"Penny was OK," Leyland told the Tigers' official website. "He had control problems in the one inning, but I don't worry about him at all."
The Tigers (10-10), who have outscored the White Sox 53-20 during a seven-game winning streak in this series, had averaged just 3.2 runs at home prior to Friday's offensive outburst, which was the first time this season they'd scored more than five runs at Comerica Park. Detroit has won three straight at home, and seven of 10 overall after a 3-7 start.
Utilityman Ryan Raburn homered for the second time in as many games and drove in a season-best four runs.
Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera is 6 for 13 over his last four games overall, and 6 for 21 (.286) lifetime against Jackson (2-1, 3.51), who surrendered season-worsts of 11 hits and four runs over seven innings in a 5-0 loss at Tampa Bay on Monday.
"Jackson threw the ball pretty good," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "We just didn't score any runs."
Other than two solo home runs from outfielder Carlos Quentin and one from first baseman Paul Konerko, the While Sox couldn't get much going offensively again in the series opener. They've batted .199 while dropping eight of their last nine games.
"Twenty games is way too early to be worried about our team," said White Sox starter Mark Buehrle, who gave up six runs to take the loss Friday. "We aren't clicking right now, but we will be."
Slugging designated hitter Adam Dunn and second baseman Gordon Beckham, who was slotted eighth in the lineup after batting second in his first 17 games, both went 0 for 4. Dunn and Beckham have a combined three hits in their last 46 at-bats.
Dunn is 6 for 31 lifetime against Penny with 16 strikeouts, but Quentin and Alex Rios are a combined 14 for 22.
Jackson, who went 13-9 while with Detroit in 2009, is 2-0 with a 3.21 ERA in four career road starts at Comerica.
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