=== Tigers go after sixth straight win and sweep of the Red Sox ===
(SportsNetwork.com) - Dominating pitching continues to be the story for the
Detroit Tigers as they aim for a three-game sweep against the Boston Red Sox
tonight at Fenway Park.
Winners of five in a row and six of the last seven, the Tigers have
surrendered a total of just eight runs during the current win streak, thanks
in part to a commanding 6-1 victory on Saturday. While he may not get as much
press as Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander, Rick Porcello continued his strong
start by picking up his seventh win in eight decisions.
Porcello gave up just a single run on six hits and a walk, striking our four
over the course of eight innings as he lowered his ERA to 2.91. Thanks to the
positive effort, Detroit continues to sport the best winning percentage (.684)
in the majors and is 6 1/2 games ahead of Minnesota for first place in the
American League Central.
"It's May," Porcello said after his performance. "I've said before, this is a
marathon, it's not a sprint. ... The most important thing to me right now is
that we're in first place and we're playing good ball. That's huge. We want to
keep that going."
From an offensive standpoint, the Tigers picked up support from Miguel Cabrera
who finished with three hits and two RBI, while Victor Martinez added a pair
of hits and scored once.
Over on the other side, Mike Napoli tallied three singles in four trips to the
plate for a Boston squad which is fourth in the AL East, 2 1/2 games off the
pace set by Baltimore and New York. Xander Bogaerts pitched in with another
two hits at the bottom of the order. His solo home run in the bottom of the
fifth inning accounted for the lone run of the contest for the Sox.
John Lackey suffered his third loss of the season after giving up five earned
runs on nine hits and a couple of walks over 5 1/3 innings.
"They're deep all the way through the lineup," Lackey said of the visitors.
"They're pretty good."
Detroit hitters are currently first in the AL in batting at .275, coming in
second in slugging (.421), which combines well with the fact that the pitching
staff is second in the league with a combined 3.19 ERA.
Sunday's slate of games culminates with Anibal Sanchez taking the hill for the
Tigers and Jake Peavy facing off against the Detroit lineup.
Peavy, a right-hander from Alabama, has appeared in eight games in 2014 but
has just a 1-1 mark to show for his efforts. Earlier this week the hurler
lasted just 4 1/3 innings against Minnesota on the road, giving up six runs on
nine hits and a pair of walks as the Sox suffered an 8-6 setback.
Sporting a career mark of 4-5 with a 4.83 ERA in 12 all-time appearances
against Detroit, Peavy lasted only three innings in his most recent matchup
versus the Tigers, allowing seven runs on five hits and three walks.
Over on the other side, Sanchez is still searching for his first win of the
campaign. The right-hander has been on the shelf for several weeks, last
pitching against Minnesota on April 26 when he lasted a mere 2 2/3 innings in
what turned into a 5-3 setback on the road.
A member of the Miami staff for the bulk of his career, Sanchez has yet to
register a decision versus Boston.
Detroit, which edged the Red Sox in the season series last year by a 4-3
count, is now ahead this time around at 2-0. Overall, the Tigers are off to
their best start since 1984, thanks in part to a 10-game road win streak which
is their longest in three decades.
05/18 10:42:46 ET