DETROIT — C.C. Sabathia and Justin Verlander squared off in a marquee matchup of starting candidates for next week's All-Star game.
The Detroit Tigers knocked some of the luster off Sabathia's sensational season.
Gary Sheffield, Carlos Guillen and Placido Polanco hit homers against Sabathia on Thursday, giving Detroit a 12-3 win over Cleveland and contributing to the pitcher's worst game of the year and the Indians' most lopsided loss of the season.
"Sometimes you get those pitching matchups that don't turn out quite like you thought they would," Tigers Manager Jim Leyland said. "Fortunately for us, it turned out our way."
Like Sabathia, Verlander gave up a home run in the first inning before outdueling the first pitcher in the majors to reach 12 wins.
Verlander (10-3) gave up three runs -- two earned -- and six hits with seven strikeouts and no walks over seven innings. The 24-year-old right-hander struck out five batters in a row from the end of the third inning to the start of the fifth.
"That's a lot of equipment," Leyland said. "You see guys throw 97, 98, but it's really rare that you see guys that young with three pitches like he has -- fastball, curveball, changeup -- that are all above average."
Sabathia (12-3) gave up a season-high seven runs -- six on three homers that matched a career high -- in a season-low four innings.