The Detroit Tigers were starting to gain some separation in the American League Central before dropping two of three to the last-place Chicago White Sox.
The Tigers will try to pick it up against a much stronger opponent when they host the Texas Rangers in the opener of a three-game series on Friday. Detroit’s pitching staff surrendered 22 runs in three games against Chicago after allowing an average of 3.4 in the previous seven.
The Rangers could be just the opponent to get Detroit’s pitching back on track. Texas totaled two runs in back-to-back losses at Baltimore on Wednesday and Thursday and was held to 11 hits. The Rangers had little trouble scoring against the Tigers at home from May 16-19, piling up 29 runs while taking three of four in the series.
TV: 7:08 p.m. ET, KTXA (Texas), Fox Sports Net Detroit, MLB Network
PITCHING MATCHUP: Rangers RH Justin Grimm (7-6, 5.88 ERA) vs. Tigers RH Doug Fister (6-5, 4.07)
Grimm has been knocked out after four innings in each of his last two turns and has not recorded an out in the sixth inning in any of his last four starts. The rookie right-hander has had some trouble keeping the ball in the park, allowing 10 home runs in his last seven starts. Grimm has never faced the Tigers but is 3-3 with a 6.81 ERA in eight road starts this season.
Fister is winless in his last four turns and has been knocked around for six earned runs in three of those outings, including the last two. The 29-year-old served up three home runs in six innings at Cleveland on Sunday after yielding only five in his first 17 starts combined. Fister was knocked around for five runs on nine hits over 4 2/3 innings at Texas on May 19 but did not factor in the decision.
1. Tigers 3B Miguel Cabrera smashed his 30th home run on Thursday. He has 12 homers in 56 career games against the Rangers.
2. Texas RHP Yu Darvish (right trapezius muscle) was placed on the disabled list on Thursday. He came through an exam well and is expected to rejoin the rotation shortly after the All-Star break.
3. Detroit RHP Rick Porcello dropped his appeal and had a suspension for hitting Rays 2B Ben Zobrist reduced to five games.