Apr 4, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers first basemanMiguel Cabrera
(24) runs the bases after he hits a home run for his 2,000th career hit in the eighth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
After a few tepid performances with the bats in victorious efforts were alternated by days off (one scheduled, one rained out), the Detroit Tigers got the lumber out with 17 hits and 10 runs in winning their third straight game on Friday afternoon to start out the year at 3-0. Detroit will look to start 4-0 for just the third time in 28 years, and also look to clinch their second straight series victory to open the season as they battle Baltimore on Saturday.
Detroit Tigers (3-0) vs Baltimore Orioles (1-3) — 1:08 PM
Comerica Park — Detroit, MI
TV: FSD, MLB.com (For out-of-market fans, most cable and satellite providers have a free preview of MLB Extra Innings for the season’s first week)
Radio: 97.1 The Ticket
Weather: 50 degrees, mostly sunny
When We Last Met
Anibal Sanchez showed signs of rust when he spotted the Orioles two runs in the bottom of the first, but the Tigers didn’t take long to tee off against Baltimore starter Miguel Gonzalez on Friday. After a rain delay, with the Tigers holding a 3-2 advantage, Rajai Davis slammed a three-run shot to give the Tigers a commanding lead they would not relinquish (though Joba Chamberlain did his best to help). Miguel Cabrera had four hits in five appearances, including a two-run homer which clinched his 2,000th career hit.
The enigma that is Rick Porcello will get his first start of 2014 after an uneven Spring Training. For many years, pundits have predicted Porcello to break out of his shell and become a more consistent pitcher in the majors. Lost in the shadow of Verlander-Scherzer-Sanchez-Fister a year ago, Rick kinda did that. He went 13-8 with a 4.32 ERA. While it would be nice to have that ERA head south, duplicating that win total would be a laudable goal.
The Orioles had Porcello’s number in 2013, as he dropped both of his starts and posted a 6.75 ERA. J.J. Hardy and Nick Markakis have proved to be tough outs for Rick (.400 and .421 respectively). Conversely, Adam Jones has just three hits in 18 appearances against Porcello.
Bud Norris gets his first start of the year for Baltimore. The right hander faced the Tigers twice in a Houston Astros uniform last year, going 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA. Norris, who came over to the Orioles in a trading deadline deal last July, hasn’t faced many of the current Tigers a lot of times, although Victor Martinez has taken him deep once.
Ahhhh yes….all is right in the world, Donnie Baseball gets his first start of 2014.