Detroit Tigers (48-50) at Tampa Bay Rays (49-51) — 7:10 PM ET
Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, FL
Radio: 97.1 The Ticket (click for affiliates)
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The Detroit Tigers continue their road trip and will likely be a tired bunch after playing in Boston against the Red Sox on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball when beginning the first of three games with the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday night. The team was taken to the woodshed in that late night game on Sunday and will once again look to pick up the pieces and try to win a series for the first time in nearly a month.
With all the upheaval with the Rays over the past 12 months in the loss of their ace to the Tigers in David Price and the loss of their manager Joe Maddon to the Chicago Cubs, no one had high expectations for the new-look Rays under new manager Kevin Cash. Still they have been fairly competitive in the AL East where seemingly everyone but Boston has a chance to win the division.
Lately, Tampa Bay has fallen on hard times and under .500, but are still in the thick of the race in the AL East where first and fourth place are separated by just seven games.
Barring another in-season trade, the highlight of this series will be when Price faces his former teammates for the second time since being dealt from Tampa Bay at last year’s trading deadline on Tuesday. He went the distance and was brilliant but lost the 1-0 decision last August.
When We Last Met
The Tigers had been dominant over the Rays in recent years, but lost the season series for the first time in awhile by losing four of the seven contests. They played four games in Detroit over 4th of July weekend, winning the first contest and dropping the next three. The teams met in August for three games at Tropicana Field and Detroit won the first two games before losing the series finale spoiling Price’s homecoming.
Anibal Sanchez (10-7, 4.59) has looked much more like the pitcher we were thinking we’d get this year lately after a disastrous start. Sanchez has quietly put together four straight wins and is 7-0 in his last eight starts dating back to his last loss on June 3. He is still allowing way more homers than anyone is comfortable with. Anibal has now allowed 21 homers this year, one more than his previous career high.
The Rays had their way with Sanchez in his lone start against them last year, going 5.2 innings, allowing seven runs on six hits at Comerica Park. He is 2-2 in six career starts against the Rays with a bloated ERA of 5.08
Nathan Karns (5-5, 3.47) gets the ball for the home standing Rays Monday night in his first career start against Detroit. He blanked the Philadelphia Phillies over five innings in his last outing to pick up the win in the 1-0 Tampa Bay victory. This is is second year with the Rays, but first full season in the majors. He began his career in three games with the Washington Nationals in 2013.
Detroit Tigers Lineup
- Ian Kinsler-2B
- Yoenis Cespedes-LF
- Victor Martinez-DH
- J.D. Martinez-RF
- Nick Castellanos-3B
- Alex Avila-C
- Jose Iglesias-SS
- Andrew Romine-1B
- Anthony Gose-CF