American League Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, August 28th (All times Eastern)
Oakland Athletics (74-57) at Detroit Tigers (77-55), 7:08 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Oakland - Dan Straily (6-7, 4.56) Detroit - Doug Fister (11-6, 3.54)
(Sports Network) - The Detroit Tigers hope that Doug Fister can slow down the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday night, when the two teams play the third contest of a four-game series at Comerica Park.
Fister will try to get the Tigers in the win column after they lost the first two contests of this set. He has won five of his past six decisions over eight starts, with a 2.39 earned run average in that span.
The righty beat the New York Mets on Friday, holding them to a run on eight hits and two walks over 6 1/3 innings. He held the Mets scoreless after the first frame.
"It's just a matter of getting in a groove and being able to make the fine- tune adjustments," Fister said. "Today, I was battling myself a lot with my sinker and a couple of other things, but I was able to put out when I needed to."
Fister is 11-6 with a 3.54 ERA in 26 starts this year thanks to his current run and faces Oakland for the first time in 2013. The 29-year-old is 5-4 against them lifetime with a 2.45 ERA in 11 starts.
While the Tigers turn to a streaking hurler, the A's counter with Dan Straily, who is winless since July 9.
The right-handed Straily is 0-5 with a 5.20 ERA in seven starts since that win and 6-7 with a 4.56 ERA on the season in 21 starts. He was cruising early last Friday in Baltimore before running into trouble in the fourth.
Straily did not allow a hit over his first three frames versus the Orioles before giving up a two-run homer to Adam Jones following a walk. Five batters later, the 24-year-old served up a grand slam to Brian Roberts and was lifted with one out recorded in the frame, but ended up with a no-decision.
Straily will face the Tigers for the first time in his career looking to secure a series victory after Oakland's rain-shortened 6-3 win on Tuesday.
Brandon Moss hit a tie-breaking two-run homer off Detroit's Justin Verlander in the fifth inning and Seth Smith added a solo homer off of Bruce Rondon in the sixth. The A's had the bases loaded with nobody out later in the inning when the rain intensified and the contest was called after a delay of 80 minutes.
Manager Bob Melvin did not have to use his bullpen after Tommy Milone settled down following a rough first inning in which he gave up three runs, two earned. He retired 12 of his final 14 batters faced to earn the win.
Verlander also had a rough first inning and was charged with five runs - three earned -- in five innings.
"We were really patient and made him work," Melvin said of Verlander.
Detroit's ace is winless in his last four starts.
"I don't feel fatigued. At my age it's not I'm dropping velocity," said the 30-year-old Verlander, who threw 44 pitches in the first inning. "I think it's more of a mechanical thing than anything."
Oakland has won three of its last four and is three games ahead of Cleveland for the AL's second wild card. The A's trail the Texas Rangers by 2 1/2 games for first place in the AL West.
Detroit, meanwhile, got a two-run single from Prince Fielder and had won six of eight prior to this set. The Tigers still lead the Indians by 5 1/2 games for the top spot in the AL Central.
The Tigers won two of three in Oakland back in April and had claimed five of the previous seven meetings prior to this series.
08/28 10:49:33 ET