Detroit Tigers (43-34) vs Oakland Athletics (51-30) – 7:08 p.m.
Comerica Park — Detroit, MI
TV: Fox Sports Detroit
Radio: 97.1 The Ticket (click for affiliates)
Weather: 82 degrees, 40 percent chance of storms
The Detroit Tigers return to Comerica Park after a successful road trip and hope that some of what went right on the road can be brought into their home ballpark. Usually a dominant home team over the years, the Tigers are just 19-19 at home and 25-15 on the road. They’ll be facing a very tough challenge at turning that around when they face the American League-leading Oakland Athletics for the first of three games on Monday night.
This game, and this series, will go a long way to determining if the Tigers have indeed turned things around or were just beating up on sub-.500 teams during the last road trip. And as much as it will be about their present, and future, it will also be about their past. Before the game, the team will honor the 30th anniversary of the 1984 World Championship team.
When We Last Met
The Tigers had just started their 9-20 skid around the time they met up with the Athletics in Oakland at the end of May. They held their own against the powerful A’s team and split the four-game series. Oakland has played very well in Comerica Park in the regular season in recent years, but not so much in the postseason.
The teams have staged some postseason classics at the COPA in the three postseason series they’ve played since 2006, including last year. With the Tigers on the verge of elimination in Game 4 of the ALDS, and down 3-0 in the game, they battled back and won to send the game back to Oakland for Game 5, which they won. The indelible image of that game was Max Scherzer, in relief, getting into a bases loaded, no-out jam and getting out of it with no runs scored.
Anibal Sanchez (5-2, 2.64) has easily been the most consistent Detroit Tigers starter since coming back from the disabled list due to a blister on May 18, but he had a bit of a rough go in his last start, Wednesday, against the Texas Rangers. Dominant early, Sanchez appeared to become fatigued in the Texas humidity and ultimately allowed four runs, a season high. He had a stellar effort ruined by Joe Nathan in Oakland earlier this year. He allowed just one run and pitched into the ninth, but a three-run walk-off for the A’s saddled Sanchez with a no-decision.
Scott Kazmir (9-3, 2.66) went the distance when he faced the Tigers in Oakland, allowing six hits and one run. He struck out eight in the complete game victory. The left-handed veteran was bombed in his last outing, allowing a season-high seven runs in just three innings of work in a 10-1 loss to the New York Mets last Tuesday. Prior to that outing, Kazmir had allowed only six runs over his previous five starts, including that win over Detroit.
Detroit Tigers Lineup
UPDATE: Victor Martinez has been scratched from the lineup due to back/side soreness. J.D. replaces him at DH and in the clean-up spot.
- Rajai Davis-LF
- Ian Kinsler-2B
- Miguel Cabrera-1B
- J.D. Martinez-DH
- Torii Hunter-RF
- Nick Castellanos-3B
- Alex Avila-C
- Eugenio Suarez-SS
- Austin Jackson-CF
- Victor Martinez-Day-to-day
- Ian Krol – 15-Day DL
- Luke Putkonen – Out indefinitely
- Joel Hanrahan – Out indefinitely
- Andy Dirks – 60-day DL
- Jose Iglesias – Out for season
- Bruce Rondon – Out for season
- Josh Reddick — 15-day DL
- Derek Norris — Day-to-Day
- Kyle Blanks — 15-day DL
- Drew Pomeranz — 15-day DL
- Eric O’Flaherty — 60-day DL
- A.J. Griffin — Out for season
- Jarrod Parker — Out for season