for this game

Mr. 3,000: A-Rod eyes big hit vs. Tigers

Jun 19, 2015 - 4:07 PM ( - It will be a showdown between Alex Rodriguez and Justin Verlander on Friday night when the New York Yankees begin a three-game series with the Detroit Tigers.

Rodriguez enters this opener on the verge of history, just one hit shy of 3,000 for his much-discussed career. The slugger has already surpassed 2,000 career RBI this season and is sitting on 666 career homers after missing all of last year due to a suspension for violations of baseball's drug agreement and labor contract.

The 39-year-old will get another chance at his historic hit in front of the home fans after going 2-for-4 in Thursday's 9-4 win over the Miami Marlins. He flied out and walked in his final two at-bats.

"I was kind of hoping to get it out of the way, but we'll have to wait another day to see what happens," said Yankees manager Joe Girardi.

Carlos Beltran and Brett Gardner hit two-run homers for the Yankees, who won the final two contests of the four-game home-and-home set with the Marlins.

Rodriguez is 10-for-28 lifetime with four homers and nine RBI against Verlander, who starts this opener after his scheduled outing on Thursday against the Cincinnati Reds was rained out. Verlander will instead make his second start of the season tonight.

The former AL MVP and CY Young Award winner missed the start of the season due to a triceps injury before making his 2015 debut on Saturday against the Cleveland Indians. He did not factor into a 5-4 loss, charged with a pair of runs on three hits and two walks over five innings. Verlander also struck out a pair.

"That last inning when I tried to step on the gas a little bit, I fell out of rhythm a little bit and walked a couple of guys," Verlander said. "That's kind of more effort than I've had to put in yet so it kind of makes sense why the rhythm wasn't there yet."

The right-hander did manage to throw 55 of his 87 pitches for strikes, but yielded a solo homer and sac fly. He is 5-6 with a 3.75 ERA lifetime versus the Yankees.

The Tigers took the opener of their series with the Reds before losing the next two. They dropped Wednesday's game 8-4 in 13 innings as Cincinnati's Todd Frazier hit a walk-off grand slam.

Detroit, which had won six of eight coming in, got an RBI from both Miguel Cabrera and Yoenis Cespedes. Cabrera has driven in nine runs over his last five games.

The Tigers activated designated hitter Victor Martinez off the disabled list on Thursday and optioned Tyler Collins back to Triple-A Toledo. The club's designated hitter, Martinez has not played since May 18 due to left knee inflammation and is batting .216 with a homer and 15 RBI in 34 games this season.

The Yankees will turn tonight to Adam Warren, who struggled over a shortened outing last time out in a no-decision.

Warren was lifted after 4 2/3 innings at Baltimore on Sunday, charged with three runs. His pitch count ran up as he yielded six hits and walked three while fanning five as he saw a run of five straight outings of at least six 6 1/3 innings snapped.

"It was a hot day and I got a little worn down," Wright said. "They were fouling off good pitches all day. I was trying to make better pitches, and I wound up not being anywhere close."

New York did manage a 5-3 win and the right-handed Warren sits 4-4 on the year with a 3.78 ERA. He beat Detroit on April 22 despite yielding four runs over 5 2/3 innings as he was touched for five hits and walked four.

Warren is 2-0 with a 4.09 ERA in five meetings overall with the Tigers, including the one start.

The Yankees took three of four from the Tigers in Detroit from April 20-23.