CHICAGO -- Justin Verlander is 12-1 against the White Sox over the last four seasons, but he cannot beat Mother Nature, no matter how many times he tries.
A storm system that had been expected to pass through Chicago before Thursday night's scheduled showdown between the Tigers and White Sox instead crept in just before the first pitch, postponing the finale of the four-game series at U.S. Cellular Field.
The rainout sets up one final tilt between the American League Central contenders on Monday afternoon at 2:10 p.m. ET. Doug Fister, who beat the White Sox on Tuesday, will make the start opposite Gavin Floyd, who took the loss on Wednesday. The game will be televised in Michigan and Northwest Ohio on Fox Sports Detroit.
Instead of facing the White Sox, Verlander has been pushed back to Friday's series opener in Cleveland, opposite Corey Kluber. Anibal Sanchez and Rick Porcello will face the Indians on Saturday and Sunday afternoon, respectively.
For Verlander it'll be a rematch of his game in Cleveland in July, when the Indians scored four runs in the seventh to turn his gem into a Tigers loss in the rubber match of a three-game series.
That loss knocked the Tigers out of a first-place tie atop the AL Central and started them on a skid of five losses in six games. Detroit has held a share of first place for only one day since then, and that came after Verlander beat Chris Sale on Sept. 2 at Comerica Park.
Since this series was supposed to be the Tigers' final trip to Chicago this season, Major League Baseball, not the White Sox, was in charge of making the call on Thursday. Though it wasn't actually raining at the originally scheduled first-pitch time of 8:10 p.m. ET, the line of storms was close enough that they waited it out rather than risk losing Verlander and Sale after one or two innings.
As it turned out, the rain was steady enough that they couldn't have played through it without some serious problems to the infield and mound. Detroit went through those problems in Boston on July 31, and it left them with a rain-shortened loss once umpires called for the tarp with the Tigers rallying.
So for now the Tigers remain a game behind the White Sox in the standings, and they'll have to find a way to beat Floyd again.
"I thought Floyd [on Wednesday] night, for the first three innings, was the best I ever saw him," manager Jim Leyland said on Thursday afternoon. "Oh, man, he was nasty. For the first three innings, I thought, 'Oh my God."