Detroit Tigers (39-39) at Toronto Blue Jays (42-39) — 7:08 PM ET
Comerica Park — Detroit, MI
TV: FSD, MLB Network
Radio: 97.1 The Ticket (click for affiliates)
Weather: 74 degrees, mostly cloudy
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The Detroit Tigers are once again looking to pick up the pieces after hitting the .500 mark following a three-game sweep at the hands of the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Tigers have fallen to the .500 mark three times this season but have never gone under it, however this meeting with the Toronto Blue Jays, MLB best in runs scored, will put that streak in jeopardy.
Toronto has scored 441 runs this season, most in the majors by an incredible 73 runs. They are also second in baseball with 106 homers, which could spell trouble for Friday’s starter for Detroit, Anibal Sanchez, and the Tigers’ battered bullpen.
The Blue Jays rose from the ashes in the AL East with an 11-game winning streak last month, but have fallen back to Earth a bit. Still, in a very hotly competitive division, they are just a game behind the Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees for first, but so are the Tampa Bay Rays, tied with Toronto for third place.
The Tigers made big news before this game, DFAing Joba Chamberlain and Tom Gorzelanny and activating Alex Avila from the DL.
They also shook up their lineup…see below.
When We Last Met
These two former AL East archrivals are meeting for the first time in 2015, one season after the Blue Jays dominated the Tigers. They swept the series at Comerica Park last June 3-5 and lost the final two of three at Rogers Centre, each in extra innings including a 19-inning, seven-hour marathon in which starter Rick Porcello had to pitch the final two innings because no one was left in the bullpen.
Anibal Sanchez (6-7, 4.63) allowed three more homers in his last start on Sunday to bring his season total to 18. Yeesh. He is just two away from tying his career-high of 20 homers surrendered with the Marlins in 2011. Considering the Blue Jays’ hitting prowess, it wouldn’t be shocking if he at least tied it on Friday. Anibal did pitch well in two appearances against Toronto last season, earning a no-decision in both but posted a 2.31 ERA and 1.029 WHIP in 11.2 innings. In six career starts against the Blue Jays Sanchez has posted a 2-2 record with a 4.41 ERA.
Drew Hutchison (8-1, 4.99) has been perhaps the luckiest starter in baseball this year. The recipient of a tremendous amount of run support his ERA near five has still be good enough to win eight games thus far. He will be looking for his fourth consecutive victory on Friday night after shutting out the Texas Rangers throughout 5.2 innings on Sunday. This is Hutchison’s first career start against Detroit.
Detroit Tigers Lineup