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American League Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, June 4th (All times Eastern)
Tampa Bay Rays (31-25) at Detroit Tigers (30-25), 7:08 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Tampa Bay - Matt Moore (8-0, 2.18) Detroit - Anibal Sanchez (5-5, 2.79)
(Sports Network) - Matt Moore tries to improve to 9-0 on Tuesday when the Tampa Bay Rays kick off a three-game series versus the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park.
It won't be easy for Moore, though, as he must contend with the hottest hitter in baseball and the American League's reigning Player of the Month, Miguel Cabrera.
A Triple Crown winner a year ago, Cabrera leads the majors with a .367 average and 65 RBI, while his 17 home runs are second only to Baltimore's Chris Davis, who has 20.
"The best part about it is, he has fun doing it," Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. "He just does it. I mean, he just plays. When he's serious in that batter's box, he's pretty special. When he's serious in that batter's box, he's scary."
Cabrera could have a tough go of it on Thursday, as Moore has held the opposition to a .178 batting average. He last pitched on Friday, but only lasted one inning and 11 pitches thanks to rain in Cleveland.
Moore is 8-0 on the year with a 2.18 ERA on the year.
Tampa took two of three from the Indians over the weekend and has won seven of its last eight. Since May 17, the Rays have won 11 of 16 and have managed a major-league-best 6.1 runs per game in that span.
"One through nine, we feel pretty good about scoring runs right now," Tampa manager Joe Maddon said.
Detroit, meanwhile, has gone the other way of late and enters this series having dropped five of six after losing two of three to Baltimore over the weekend. The Tigers, though, still hold a one-game lead over the Cleveland Indians for the top spot in the AL Central.
Heading to the hill for the Tigers on Tuesday will be righty Anibal Sanchez, who is 5-5 with a 2.79 ERA. Sanchez lost for the fourth time in six starts on Wednesday in Pittsburgh, as the Pirates reached him for five runs and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings.
He had held the Pirates to one run on two hits through 6 1/3 innings, but in a span of 12 pitches, he gave up a single, a walk, two doubles, threw a wild pitch and allowed an RBI bunt single.
"In the big leagues, stuff can happen fast," Leyland said after that game. "Obviously we didn't expect it to happen that fast."
"Before that (seventh) inning, I think everything was working good," Sanchez added, "especially location."
Sanchez has faced the Rays four times and is 1-1 with a 4.79 ERA.
Detroit beat the Rays in five of the seven meetings last season and is 12-3 in the last 15 matchups.
06/04 10:34:58 ET