American League Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, May 28th (All times Eastern)
Detroit Tigers (29-19) at Oakland Athletics (31-21), 10:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Detroit - Anibal Sanchez (2-2, 2.83) Oakland - Scott Kazmir (5-2, 2.56)
(SportsNetwork.com) - Oakland's Scott Kazmir tries to continue his resurgence on Wednesday when the Athletics continue a four-game set with the Detroit Tigers at O.co Coliseum.
After making just one start the previous two seasons, Kazmir returned to the league with the Cleveland Indians in 2013 and went 10-9 with a 4.04 ERA over 29 starts. He also struck out 162 batters over 158 innings, earning himself a 2-year, $32 million deal with the A's.
Kazmir, though, is turning out to be one the biggest bargains in the league, as he's resembled the pitcher who was at one time a two-time All-Star and one of the best young arms in the game, going 5-2 with a 2.56 ERA in 10 starts.
However, he lost his last time out in Toronto on Friday, as he surrendered three runs and five hits in seven innings.
"It's very important (to go deep into games) -- to be consistent out there, not tax your bullpen, and just get as many outs as possible," Kazmir said. "If you have quicker games and a lot of quick outs, the (fielders) get a lot more comfortable out there, and it feels like we're in the dugout a lot more."
Kazmir has faced the Tigers 13 times and is just 4-5 with a 3.99 ERA.
Detroit, meanwhile, will counter with righty Anibal Sanchez, who has won his last two starts. Sanchez beat the Texas Rangers on Friday, limiting them to just a pair of runs in seven innings, as he improved to 2-2 to go along with a 2.83 ERA.
Sanchez is 1-1 in three starts versus the A's and has pitched to a 5.09 ERA.
After losing Monday's opener, Detroit snapped a five-game road slide on Tuesday, as Austin Jackson drove in the go-ahead run in the eighth inning and the Tigers held on for a 6-5 win.
Miguel Cabrera went 2-for-4 with a solo homer, two RBI and two runs scored, while Torii Hunter smacked a solo home run and scored twice for the Tigers, who won for only the second time in nine tries overall.
"We've been struggling of late but it's always a grind," Hunter said. "This is baseball. Only the strong survive, the weak get thrown out."
Max Scherzer was tagged for five runs on eight hits over six innings in the start for Detroit, which saw Al Alburquerque (2-1) get the win for a scoreless seventh inning.
John Jaso hit a two-run home run for the Athletics, who have lost five of their last six. Sonny Gray was touched for four runs on eight hits in six innings, with Fernando Abad (0-2) being charged with the loss.
"My arm felt great," Gray said. "I felt really good and that's why it's a little bit frustrating because you felt like you have good stuff and you just get hit around a little bit."
Of course, these two teams have met the last two years in the ALDS with Detroit winning each series. Oakland, though, was 4-3 in the regular season against the Tigers a year ago.
05/28 10:38:42 ET