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Tigers-Athletics Preview

Aug 23, 2009 - 6:14 AM By MATT BECKER STATS Senior Writer

Detroit (65-56) at Oakland (53-68), 4:05 p.m. EDT

Entrenched in a tight AL Central race and with a series against the majors' top offensive team right around the corner, the Detroit Tigers need to figure out a way to start scoring runs consistently.

The first-place Tigers again hope to get their offense in gear when they wrap up a three-game series against the Oakland Athletics on Sunday.

After defeating the A's 3-2 in Friday's opener at Oakland Coliseum, Detroit (65-57) suffered a 3-2 loss Saturday. With one out in the ninth, Kurt Suzuki hit a game-ending RBI single for the A's, who snapped a three-game skid.

With Saturday's defeat, Detroit's division lead over the second-place Chicago White Sox shrunk to 2 1/2 games.

The Tigers lead the Central thanks to a pitching staff - led by All-Stars Justin Verlander and Edwin Jackson - that boasts the league's third-best ERA (4.12). While the pitching keeps Detroit in many ballgames, the offense has been struggling to keep pace.

The Tigers left seven runners on base Saturday, and plated three runs or fewer for the seventh time in 10 games.

"We get them in a jam early and only score one run," Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. "We're not doing a very good job of hitting a double with the bases loaded."

Scoring three runs likely won't get the job done Monday when the Tigers begin a three-game series at AL West-leading Los Angeles, which leads the majors in runs scored.

A top of the batting order struggling to get on base is responsible for much of Detroit's recent slump.

Leadoff hitter Curtis Granderson is batting .194 with 11 strikeouts in his last nine games, while No. 2 batter Placido Polanco is hitting .195 with no RBIs in his last 10.

They'll try and get things turned around against journeyman Brett Tomko (2-2, 4.21 ERA), who looks to build on an impressive debut for Oakland (54-68).

Tomko signed with the A's - his ninth team - on Aug. 5 after being released by the New York Yankees at the trade deadline. After spending time in the minors, Tomko's first appearance for Oakland came Monday against the Yankees. The right-hander looked solid, giving up five hits and one walk in five innings of a 3-0 victory.

This will be the 13-year veteran's first start against the Tigers. He's 0-1 with an 8.59 ERA in three career relief appearances against them.

Rookie Rick Porcello (10-7, 4.21) takes the ball for Detroit trying to lead the team to its seventh win in 11 games.

Porcello allowed one run and four hits with a career-high eight strikeouts in 5 2-3 innings Tuesday, but didn't receive a decision in the 5-3 win over Seattle. It was the right-hander's first appearance since serving a five-game suspension for hitting Kevin Youkilis in the second inning against Boston on Aug. 11.

Excluding that game against the Red Sox, Porcello has yielded two runs or fewer in three consecutive starts. He was 1-3 with a 9.16 ERA in his previous four outings, which included a game at Oakland.

Porcello gave up five runs and nine hits in 4 1-3 innings of a 7-1 loss to the A's on June 29. It was a vastly different result than his first start against them May 16, when he permitted one run and three hits in six innings of a 9-1 Tigers home victory.






  • 23
    roots
    #1 Cards Fan Added 5 roots

    Tigers 4, Athletics 9  FinalAug 24 2:04 AM


  • ** CONFIRMED **
    AL
    DETROIT 4
    OAKLAND 9 FINAL

    Aug 23 7:01 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY CLIFF PENNINGTON (2) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 8TH OFF RYAN PERRY.
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 4, OAKLAND 9
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: A KENNEDY (.279, 0-FOR-4)

    Tigers 4, Athletics 9  Bot 8, 0 OutsAug 23 6:45 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    THREE-RUN HOME RUN BY LANDON POWELL (4) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT
    IN THE 8TH OFF RYAN PERRY SCORED MARK ELLIS AND JACK CUST.
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 4, OAKLAND 8
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: D BARTON (.167, 1-FOR-3)

    Tigers 4, Athletics 8  Bot 8, 0 OutsAug 23 6:39 PM
  • 18
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    RUWTbot Took away 35 roots

    Tigers 4, Athletics 8  Bot 8, 0 OutsAug 23 6:39 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY MIGUEL CABRERA (25) TO RIGHT CENTER WITH
    1 OUT IN THE 8TH OFF MICHAEL WUERTZ SCORED CLETE THOMAS.
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 4, OAKLAND 5
    DUE UP FOR DETROIT: A HUFF (.250, 0-FOR-3)

    Tigers 4, Athletics 5  Top 8, 0 OutsAug 23 6:24 PM
  • 53
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Tigers 4, Athletics 5  Top 8, 0 OutsAug 23 6:24 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MARCUS THAMES SCORED MIGUEL CABRERA
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M THAMES ON FIRST, B INGE ON SECOND, 2 OUTS
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 2
    OAKLAND 5 TOP,7TH
    DUE UP FOR DETROIT: R SANTIAGO (.254, 1-FOR-2)

    Tigers 2, Athletics 5  Top 7, 0 OutsAug 23 6:00 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY JACK CUST (19) TO RIGHT CENTER WITH 0 OUT
    IN THE 6TH OFF RICK PORCELLO.
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 1, OAKLAND 5
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: M ELLIS (.277, 1-FOR-2)

    Tigers 1, Athletics 5  Bot 6, 0 OutsAug 23 5:40 PM
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    RUWTbot Added 18 roots

    Tigers 1, Athletics 4  Bot 5, 0 OutsAug 23 5:20 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    THREE-RUN HOME RUN BY JACK CUST (18) TO LEFT CENTER WITH 2
    OUT IN THE 3RD OFF RICK PORCELLO SCORED RYAN SWEENEY AND
    RAJAI DAVIS.
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 1, OAKLAND 4
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: M ELLIS (.278, 1-FOR-1)

    Tigers 1, Athletics 4  Bot 3, 0 OutsAug 23 4:59 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY RAJAI DAVIS SCORED CLIFF PENNINGTON
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R DAVIS ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 1
    OAKLAND 1 BOTTOM,3RD
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: R SWEENEY (.276, 0-FOR-1)

    Tigers 1, Athletics 1  Bot 3, 0 OutsAug 23 4:51 PM


  • AL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    DETROIT 1 1 1 0
    OAKLAND 0 0 0 (BOT 1)


    CURRENT PITCHERS: DET - RICK PORCELLO
    OAK - BRETT TOMKO

    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: A KENNEDY (.282, 10 HR, 46 RBI)
    R DAVIS (.295, 2 HR, 26 RBI)
    R SWEENEY (.277, 5 HR, 34 RBI)

    Tigers 1, Athletics 0  Bot 1, 0 OutsAug 23 4:15 PM