The Detroit Tigers have been unstoppable on the road thus far in 2014, going 13-4, winning 10 straight, and will be looking to sweep the defending World Series Champions in their home ballpark tonight.
The red-hot Tigers, winners of 20 of their last 27 games, will play a rare game on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball, facing the reeling Red Sox in Fenway Park.
After this game, the Tigers will head to Cleveland for the first time this season for three games with the last place Indians.
Detroit Tigers (26-12) at Boston Red Sox (20-22) — 8:05 PM EDT
Fenway Park — Boston, MA
Radio: 97.1 The Ticket (click for radio affiliates)
Weather: 63 degrees, chance of showers
When We Last Met
Fenway Park has been a house of horrors for Rick Porcello during his career, particularly last year when he allowed eight runs in a game in September and allowed a walk-off win for the Red Sox in the ALCS. Last night, he exercised those demons with a dominating performance, going eight innings (110 pitches), allowing six hits, one run with four strikeouts and a walk. The Tigers’ offense scored early and often off Boston starter John Lackey and Detroit cruised to yet another road victory, 6-1.
The last time the Tigers lost on the road, Anibal Sanchez (0-2, 3.13) was the starter–that was 22 days ago, though it was no fault of Anibal’s. Sanchez pitched a perfect 2.2 innings before having to come out of the game with a blister on the middle finger of his throwing hand. The Tigers bullpen couldn’t hold onto a 2-0 lead and lost that game 5-3 to the Minnesota Twins back on April 26. A stint on the disabled list followed for Sanchez. He has pitched fairly well in his five starts this season but hasn’t had much run support. He pitched twice in the ALCS, brilliantly in Game 1–a 1-0 shutout, and so-so in Game 5 (allowing four runs–three earned).
Old AL Central nemesis Jake Peavy (1-1, 3.94) will take the mound for Boston. The Tigers are somewhat responsible for Peavy landing in Boston, as he was part of the three-team trade that sent Jose Iglesias to Detroit from Boston, Avisail Garcia from Detroit to the Chicago White Sox, and Peavy from Chicago to Boston. He was rocked by the Tigers in Game 4 of the ALCS, allowing seven runs on five hits, lasting just three innings. The former NL Cy Young winner has struggled greatly against the Tigers in recent years, going 2-4 with a 6.18 ERA in nine starts since the beginning of 2011. He was knocked around pretty good by another AL Central team, Minnesota, in his last start, surrendering a season-high six runs on nine hits last Tuesday.
With the activation of Sanchez, the Tigers needed to make room on the 25-man roster. Most thought that the odd man out would be spot-starter Robbie Ray, instead it’s reliever Justin Miller. Ray will start on Thursday in place of Porcello, who will be pushed to Saturday. Rick is reporting soreness in his left side, and while the Tigers don’t think it’s serious, they are taking some added precaution.
- Ian Kinsler-2B
- Torii Hunter-RF
- Miguel Cabrera-1B
- Victor Martinez-DH
- Don Kelly-3B
- Austin Jackson-CF
- J.D. Martinez-LF
- Alex Avila-C
- Andrew Romine-SS
- Luke Putkonen – 15-day DL
- Joel Hanrahan – 15-day DL
- Andy Dirks – 60-day DL
- Jose Iglesias – 60-day DL
- Bruce Rondon – Out for the season