May 25, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; General view during a play review of the game between the Detroit Tigers and the Texas Rangers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Tigers vs Toronto Blue Jays Game Preview: 6/3/14

The road weary Detroit Tigers return home to Comerica Park for their first extended stay since May 4 through 11. While the Tigers made many of our hands wring over the past two weeks, they return home after the most brutal stretch in their schedule this season leading the American League Central by five games. Not too shabby.

Just by coming home, however, it doesn’t mean Comerica Park has a cure for what ails the Tigers. A dominant home team since 2006, the Tigers have started just 14-11 in their first 25 home games this season. Additionally, they face the hottest team in baseball, the Toronto Blue Jays, in a battle of American League division leaders.

Detroit Tigers (31-22) vs. Toronto Blue Jays (34-24) — 7:08 PM EDT

Comerica Park, Detroit, MI

TV: Fox Sports Detroit

Radio: 97.1 The Ticket (click for radio affiliates)

Weather: 79 degrees, scattered clouds

When We Last Met

The Blue Jays were the favorite to win the World Series last year, but perhaps Vegas prognosticators were a year too early as Toronto has been playing like a strong contender the last 2-3 weeks.  The Tigers had little problems with the new-look Blue Jays in 2013, winning four of the six games played between the clubs, including two of three early April games in Detroit.

The Tigers won three of four games north of the border last July. That series was highlighted (or perhaps lowlighted) by Colby Rasmus sliding into second late, causing former Tiger Omar Infante to suffer a bruised knee and sprained ankle. He went on to miss several weeks of action. The teams met in Spring Training a couple of times with no problems, Infante is gone to Kansas City, and Rasmus is on the DL, so there is unlikely to be anything crazy going on tonight.

Pitching Matchup

Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Anibal Sanchez (2-2, 2.49) has easily been the Tigers’ most consistent starter since coming back from a stint on the disabled list last month. Joe Nathan blew the save after Sanchez had shut out the Oakland A’s through 8 1/3 innings last week. Prior to that, Sanchez breezed through two starts against Boston and Texas to pick up his first two wins of the season. One interesting factor in this game is that Anibal has not allowing a home run, but will be facing the Blue Jays’ lineup which has hit the most in the majors (82). Sanchez started one game against Toronto last season, allowing two runs over seven innings.

Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Drew Hutchison (4-3, 3.88) was hit hard in his last outing, allowing five runs on seven hits to the Tampa Bay Rays. Luckily for him, the offense on his team is on fire and they put up 10 runs in the 10-5 victory. The rookie has been solid for the most part this year, and in the two starts prior to the five-run barrage, he limited Boston and Texas to one run, including a complete game shutout in Texas on May 16.

Tigers Lineup

  1. Ian Kinsler-2B
  2. Torii Hunter-RF
  3. Miguel Cabrera-1B
  4. Victor Martinez-DH
  5. J.D. Martinez-LF
  6. Don Kelly-3B
  7. Austin Jackson-CF
  8. Alex Avila-C
  9. Andrew Romine-SS

Injuries

Detroit Tigers

Toronto Blue Jays

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