Even though Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander has enjoyed a phenomenal season, the rookie has run into difficulties against the White Sox. In fact, half of his six losses this year have come at the hands—or, more accurately, bats—of the South Siders.

Consequently, Monday night’s game had to be a big one for Verlander, who allowed just one run during seven innings and notched the first career victory over the Sox. The Tigers won 7-1, got the early edge in their four-game series and expanded their lead over second-place Chicago in the AL Central to 6 ½.

In contrast, once-feared Sox ace Jose Contreras was lit up by Detroit last night—that is, when he wasn’t lighting them up with beans. He surrendered eight hits to Tigers batters and plunked a couple of them to surrender six runs in slightly more than five innings. The loss drops Contreras’ record to 2-6 in the last eight games he’s started in.

After the game, Contreras said if Sox fans thought he played badly, they should see what pitcher Mark Buerhle has in store for tonight’s match up.

“[Tuesday night’s game] will be decided before the fifth inning, I can tell you that,” he said. “I don’t want to give away too many surprises, but let’s just say it’s going to be another big night for Craig Monroe.”

Number of the Night: 10 Million
Cubs fans who were thrilled Monday night to see Neifi Perez in a Tigers uniform.

Number of the Night: 0
Tigers fans who were thrilled Monday night to see Perez go 0-4 and leave four men on base in his first game as a Tiger.

heckler editorial staff