CHICAGO (AP) - Despite giving up seven runs against the Chicago White Sox, Justin Verlander saw positives in his latest outing.
Playing once again without Miguel Cabrera, who missed his third straight game because of an injured left hip flexor, Detroit had its four-game winning streak snapped in a 7-4 loss to the White Sox on Thursday.
Verlander (10-8) gave up seven runs and 11 hits in six innings, including a home run to Tyler Flowers.
Still, manager Jim Leyland and Verlander were encouraged by the 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young Award winner's outing, even though he took his third loss in four decisions.
``He got up to 99. I thought he had a good curve ball,' Leyland said. ``I thought he threw the ball very well.'
Verlander has had an inconsistent season and is struggling with his mechanics.
He used Thursday to try to make a change in his arm action and said that he and pitching coach Jeff Jones recently found something they can fix.
Despite the results, Verlander saw progress.
``Today, as funny as it sounds, was a step in the right direction,' Verlander said. ``I thought my stuff was the best it's been all year. It was just a little erratic.'
Chicago scored twice in the first for its first lead in the series. Paul Konerko and Jeff Keppinger hit RBI singles with two outs.
Jake Peavy (8-4) allowed his first hit in the fourth when Austin Jackson singled. Torii Hunter followed with his 10th homer to tie the game at 2.
The White Sox scored four times in the bottom half. Flowers hit an RBI double off left fielder Andy Dirks' glove, Alexei Ramirez had a two-run single and Alex Rios singled home a run.
Victor Martinez and Brayan Pena also homered for Detroit, which got the tying run to the plate in the ninth before Addison Reed struck out Pena for his 26th save in 30 tries.
``You can sum it up pretty simple today, early on they got a couple of cheap hits off (Verlander), which is part of the game,' Leyland said. ``In the fourth inning he made his bad pitches in bunches. He made about three or four in that inning and that's what cost him.'
Hunter, whose homer was his third in the series, exited in the eighth with a sore Achilles but said he'll play Friday against Philadelphia. He blamed the soreness on a pair of dress shoes he recently bought.
``I'll be fine tomorrow. Just a little sore,' Hunter said. ``I played through it the whole game. It happened this morning, but I'm fine. I'm fine.'
Cabrera's condition is less clear.
Leyland said Cabrera was doing better, but didn't say whether he would play against the Phillies.
``I'm not going to do anything stupid,' Leyland said. ``Just have to wait and see how he comes in tomorrow.'
Peavy's status with the White Sox is also murky.
The subject of trade speculation as the July 31 deadline approaches, Peavy chose to wear the White Sox's 1983 throwback uniforms because he hadn't been able to wear them before.
Peavy, who doesn't have no-trade protection, knows that with the speculation and the multiple scouts watching him pitch, Thursday might have been his last chance to don those uniforms, usually reserved for Sundays.
The fans also recognized Thursday might have been the end for Peavy in Chicago, giving him standing ovations following the seventh inning and when he was relieved in the eighth after giving up Pena's home run that cut Detroit's deficit to 7-4.
``It was very humbling. It was emotional for me,' Peavy said. ``If it was the last time I pitch here at U.S. Cellular Field, with this uniform on, it was a nice way to go out. It meant the absolute world to me. I hope everyone knows that.'
White Sox manager Robin Ventura doesn't have a say in Peavy's future. If he did, he'd push for the 2007 NL Cy Young Award winner to stay in Chicago.
``It's one of those I enjoy him being on our team. I know what he means,' Ventura said. ``I don't make that decision so, again, I'm the guy that's appreciating just him being on our team right now. I hope he's here through next year, too.'
NOTES: Leyland said closer Joaquin Benoit, who worked in three of Detroit's previous four games, was unavailable. ... Tigers 2B Omar Infante, on a rehab assignment with Class A West Michigan after spraining his left ankle July 3, could return to the Tigers on Friday if he feels ready to return. ... LHP Darin Downs, on the DL since July 7, was also scheduled to make a rehab appearance Thursday for West Michigan. ... White Sox RHP Jesse Crain, out since July 3 with a strained right shoulder, played catch but pitching coach Don Cooper termed it a ``slight' setback. Crain did not throw a bullpen session as hoped. ... White Sox 2B Gordon Beckham was out of the lineup for the fifth straight game with a strained left wrist but could play Friday. ... The Tigers' Doug Fister (8-5, 3.90 ERA) will face Philadelphia's Cole Hamels (4-12, 4.16) in Detroit. ... Jose Quintana (5-2, 3.61) will pitch Friday for the White Sox in Chicago against the Royals' James Shields (4-7, 3.24).
The Associated Press News Service
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