The Detroit Tigers have gone cold at the plate the last two games, but they might find the pitching of the Los Angeles Angels just the right cure when they visit Anaheim on Friday for the opener of a three-game series. The Tigers entered Wednesday’s game against the Seattle Mariners boasting a major-league leading .307 batting average, but were stymied by Felix Hernandez before winning 2-1 in 14 innings. Detroit lost 2-0 Thursday and had 12 hits in 80 at-bats combined the last two contests.
Because of a rain out Wednesday in Minnesota and a scheduled day off Thursday, the Angels haven’t played since Tuesday. They rank in the top third in the league in team batting average (.268) but are near the bottom in runs scored (52). Josh Hamilton appeared to be finding his stroke when he powered his first two home runs on back-to-back days last weekend, but then went 0-for-8 with three strikeouts against the Twins. Defense has been another sore spot for the Angels, who have 12 errors -- tied for the most in the American League.
TV: 10:05 p.m. ET, Fox Sports Detroit, Fox Sports West (Los Angeles)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Tigers RH Anibal Sanchez (2-0, 1.42 ERA) vs. Angels RH Tommy Hanson (1-1, 6.55)
Sanchez has been tough on everyone this season, but especially right-handed hitters. They are batting .042 off Sanchez, which is tied for the lowest average among major-league starters. The only right-handed hitter to hit safely off Sanchez this season is Oakland catcher Derek Norris, who produced one of three hits off Sanchez in his last start -- a 10-1 victory by the Tigers. Sanchez lost a 3-2 decision last September against Zack Greinke in his only appearance at Angel Stadium, giving up three earned runs and seven hits in seven innings. Mike Trout led off the game with a home run and Alberto Callaspo tagged him for a two-run shot in the second.
Hanson will try to pick up a starting unit that’s off to a 2-7 start with a 6.07 ERA. Angels manager Mike Scioscia could have taken advantage of the off days and slide left-hander C.J. Wilson into this spot on four days rest, but he’s showing confidence that Hanson can bounce back from his last start. The right-hander allowed five runs and eight hits in five innings of a 5-0 loss against the Houston Astros on Friday. Hanson gave up three runs in the first inning of his last outing, taking the home crowd out of the game. Hanson has historically been better during the first half of the season.
1. The Tigers have committed a major-league low one error this season and that was by RHP Max Scherzer.
2. Detroit's bullpen has thrown 13 consecutive scoreless innings.
3. Hamilton is 4-for-4 in his career against Sanchez with two walks.
PREDICTION: Tigers 7, Angels 4
Stats and RecordsTeam Comparison
|9/9/12||DET 2||LAA 3||.167||1||.542||.226||2||.734|