American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, May 31
(All times Eastern)
Detroit Tigers (29-23) at Baltimore Orioles (30-24), 7:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Detroit - Max Scherzer (7-0, 3.42)
Baltimore - Miguel Gonzalez (2-2, 3.94)
(Sports Network) - Max Scherzer will try to become the first Detroit pitcher
to start a season 8-0 since Jeremy Bonderman in 2007, as his Tigers step into
Camden Yards on Friday to open a three-game set with the Baltimore Orioles.
Scherzer has yielded only two runs and five hits over his last two starts (14
innings) against Cleveland and Minnesota. In fact, he went 38 batters between
hits at one stretch during those two outings.
"The way he's pitched, that's really impressive," Tigers catcher Alex Avila
said. "Especially against Cleveland's lineup, with the guys that they have
here in the middle of the (Twins') lineup, that's not an easy feat. That just
shows what kind of stuff he has.
"When he's able to locate, he's going to be almost untouchable. He can get
away with mistakes because his stuff's so good."
Meanwhile, Baltimore will turn to right-hander Miguel Gonzalez, who has looked
sharp in two starts since returning from a blister on his throwing hand that
cost him nearly three weeks. After holding the Yankees to two earned runs in
seven innings on May 21, the right-hander limited the Blue Jays to one earned
run on four hits in 5 2/3 innings of work this past Sunday. He has struck out
12 and walked only three over those last two outings.
"Having that rest helped me out a little bit," Gonzalez said. "Last year, they
pushed me back a couple times, and working with (pitching coach) Rick Adair in
the bullpen and between starts helped me out pretty good."
Winners of seven of their last 10, the O's are coming off a two-game home
sweep over the Washington Nationals. While they have been one of the American
League's top hitting teams over the course of the season, on Thursday they
rode eight shutout innings from starter Freddy Garcia to a 2-0 win.
This weekend's series pits the AL's top two Triple Crown leaders against one
another. For Baltimore, Chris Davis is hitting .426 with 10 home runs, 20 RBI
and nine doubles over his last 20 games after earning AL Player of the Month
honors for April. He is hitting at a .545 clip (18-for-33) over his last eight
"Offensively (the Orioles) look very good," Tigers manager Jim Leyland
observed. "They've got a lot of guys with good averages. (Davis) has been
having a heck of a year."
Of course, Leyland has his own hot slugger in reigning AL MVP and Triple Crown
winner Miguel Cabrera, who continues to terrorize opposing pitchers. Cabrera
is the current AL leader in batting average (.369) and RBI (59), while Davis
holds the home run lead (19). Cabrera has 11 homers in the month of May.
The Tigers hope to avoid a fourth straight loss after being shutout in 11
innings by the Pirates on Thursday.
This marks the first meeting of the season between these two teams. They split
six meetings in 2012.
05/31 11:02:55 ET