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American League Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, July 6 (All times Eastern)
Tampa Bay Rays (40-50) at Detroit Tigers (48-36), 8:00 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Tampa Bay - David Price (7-7, 3.50) Detroit - Rick Porcello (11-4, 3.12)
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Tampa Bay Rays eye a series victory on Sunday when they close out their four-game series with the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park.
The Rays have played their best baseball of the season these past few weeks, winning nine of their last 11 games, including wins over Detroit on Friday (6-3) and Saturday (7-2) after an 8-1 setback in Thursday's series opener.
Chris Archer evened his record for the season (5-5) on Saturday. The right- hander allowed only two runs over 8 1/3 innings of work before giving way to Grant Balfour, who recorded the last two outs of the game by strikeout.
Logan Forsythe went 2-for-3 with a home run and two RBI to help power the offense. Kevin Kiermaier also helped the cause, going 3-for-4 with a triple and three RBI out of the nine hole.
Anibal Sanchez was unable to match Archer, putting together one of his worst starts of the season to fall to 5-3 on the campaign. Sanchez allowed a season- high seven runs over 5 2/3 innings, while letting up six hits and four walks.
Solo home runs from Alex Avila and J.D. Martinez accounted for the entire offensive output for the Tigers. Martinez is batting .467 with a home run and four RBI since the calendar turned over to July.
Getting the call for the Rays on Sunday will be David Price, who will be trying to win his third straight decision.
The ace left-hander has been in the middle of trade rumors of late and has certainly made himself look particularly attractive over his last few starts. On Tuesday against the Yankees Price allowed just one run on four hits over seven innings to improve to 7-7 on the season. The effort did end a streak of five straight games in which Price struck out 10 or more batters, but he still has 153 punchouts in 131 innings this season to go along with a 3.50 ERA.
Price has great career numbers against Detroit. He is 4-1 with a 2.23 ERA in seven total appearances, five of which were starts, spanning 36 1/3 innings of work.
Rick Porcello will be attempting to match the Yankees' Masahiro Tanaka for the most wins in baseball on Sunday.
Porcello is currently 11-4 with a 3.12 ERA this season, putting him on pace to smash his career-bests in both wins and ERA. He is also on pace to set career- bests in WHIP (1.124), hits per nine innings (8.1), despite striking out only 5.2 batters per nine innings.
His sparkling ERA has been dropping quickly, as Porcello carries a streak of 25 1/3 scoreless innings into this contest. He threw complete game shutouts in each of his last two starts against Texas and Oakland and has won three straight decisions. In the win over Oakland, Porcello did not record a single strikeout and only threw 95 pitches.
In his career Porcello is 2-2 with a 2.73 ERA in five starts against Tampa Bay.
The Tigers and Rays split six meetings a season ago.
07/06 10:22:28 ET
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