Detroit Tigers vs Pittsburgh Pirates Game 76: Preview, TV, Lineup


Detroit Tigers (39-36) at Pittsburgh Pirates (42-33) — 7:08 PM ET

Comerica Park — Detroit, MI


Radio: 97.1 The Ticket (click for affiliates)

Weather:  74 degrees, mostly cloudy

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Game Preview

For the second time this season, the Detroit Tigers and Pittsburgh Pirates engage in a three-game interleague series, this time from Comerica Park in the Motor City. The last time these teams met, the Pirates were sputtering and the Tigers were 6-0. My have things changed.

The Tigers come in off a decent 4-2 stretch but need to do better against non-AL Central teams. They are just 13-22 against teams not in their own division, and just 7-7 against NL teams, an area in which they usually excel.

The Pirates are just 4-6 in their last 10 games and are now a distant nine games behind first place St. Louis and 2.5 games in front of third place Chicago.

When We Last Met

Tuesday’s starter for Pittsburgh, Gerrit Cole, was the first pitcher to cool of a red-hot Detroit lineup when he pitched his team to its only victory in the three-game series. That game, in fact, was the Pirates’ home opener. The Tigers’ offense remained M.I.A. but two sparkling efforts from Alfredo Simon and Shane Greene helped their three runs in two games stand up in back-to-back shutouts.

Pitching Matchup

It is another important outing for Justin Verlander (0-1, 6.17) looking for his first victory of 2015. He is penciled in as the starter for Tuesday night’s game, but was scratched from his prior start last Wednesday in Cleveland because of a sore back. If he is feeling better, it will serve as the all-important “tie-breaker.” Verlander was pretty good in his first start two weeks ago, but pretty awful in his last start. This may serve as a way to understand which of those was an aberration.

Verlander has experienced a colorful history against the Pirates. He nearly threw a perfect game against them until it was broken up in the ninth inning in 2012 and he lasted just one inning, allowing four runs, in an outing in Pittsburgh last August. That was his first loss in five career starts against the Pirates, going 4-1 with a 3.00 ERA.

Cole (11-3, 2.16) went six strong innings, allowing three hits on one run and picked up the victory after the Pirates survived a near bullpen collapse in their home opener against the Tigers. Since then he has established himself as a premier pitcher and a candidate to start the All-Star Game in Cincinnati next month. Speaking of Cincy, he hit a bit of a snag in his last outing, against the Reds, allowing five earned runs to snap a stretch of six consecutive victories for Cole.

Detroit Tigers Lineup

1. Anthony Gose CF
2. Ian Kinsler 2B
3. Miguel Cabrera 1B
4. Victor Martinez DH
5. Yoenis Cespedes LF
6. J.D. Martinez RF
7. Nick Castellanos 3B
8. James McCann C
9. Jose Iglesias-SS


Next: Tigers heroes and zeroes Week 12