American League Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, July 1 (All times Eastern)
Oakland Athletics (51-31) at Detroit Tigers (45-34), 7:08 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Oakland - Brad Mills (1-0, 4.35) Detroit - Rick Porcello (10-4, 3.41)
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Detroit Tigers will try to carry their momentum from the previous night into Tuesday's middle test of a three-game series versus the Oakland Athletics at Comerica Park.
The Tigers posted a dramatic 5-4 win in Monday's opener on Rajai Davis' grand slam with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning. Nick Castellanos and Alex Avila both reached on singles and Austin Jackson walked one out later. Davis then belted a home run to left to win it.
"That was a great moment and a moment I will cherish forever," said Davis. "My first walk-off, ever, and to do it in a game like this is phenomenal. I'll never forget this."
Davis' blast propelled the Tigers to their ninth win in 11 tries and erased the memories of losing two of three to lowly Houston this past weekend. Miguel Cabrera homered and Blaine Hardy pitched a scoreless ninth for the win. Anibal Sanchez tossed the first seven innings for the AL Central-leading Tigers and allowed three runs -- two earned.
Tigers slugger Victor Martinez was held out of the lineup Monday because of back soreness and could return this evening. Martinez took batting practice, but manager Brad Ausmus didn't want to risk further damage. V-Mart is batting .323 with 20 homers and 52 RBI this season.
The Tigers began a nine-game homestand Monday and will also host Tampa Bay and Los Angeles on the stay. They are 3 1/2 games ahead of Kansas City in the division standings.
Tigers starting pitcher Rick Porcello takes the mound Tuesday and is looking to match Masahiro Tanaka of the New York Yankees for the major league lead in wins with 11. Porcello is 10-4 with a 3.41 earned run average and has won back-to-back starts, including last Thursday's 6-0 win at Texas in which he struck out six, walked three and allowed three hits in a complete-game effort.
It was Porcello's first career shutout. He threw six scoreless innings in his previous start at Cleveland on June 20. The right-hander is only 3-5 with a 4.36 ERA in 10 games (9 starts) lifetime against the Athletics, but beat them on May 29 in a 5-4 win, allowing two runs in 5 2/3 innings.
Oakland had won four in a row and nine of 11 games until Monday's late-inning loss. Davis, of course, had the big blast off Sean Doolittle.
"This was a tough one to lose," said Oakland catcher John Jaso. "Davis is a pesky guy and he's beat us before. It'd be great to see him go to the National League."
Jed Lowrie drove in three runs, Stephen Vogt had three hits and Yoenis Cespedes extended his hitting streak to 14 games. Cespedes left the game with a hamstring injury and could miss Tuesday.
Scott Kazmir limited the mighty Tigers to a run in 5 1/3 innings in the start and exited early because of a calf cramp.
"It was tough, it really was," said Kazmir. "It was tough to just stop the sweating. The entire game, it was nonstop. Those guys were going through it too, though. Just seems this entire road trip, that's the way it's been. It's going to be muggy, it's going to be hot. I think we're getting acclimated, but it's a lot different to the air we have in California."
The A's lead the AL West by five games ahead of the LA Angels and are 4-2 on an eight-game road trip.
Brad Mills will handle pitching duties for Oakland Tuesday and he is 1-0 with a 4.35 ERA in two starts. He defeated the New York Mets on the road last Wednesday and gave up three runs in 6 1/3 innings.
Detroit and Oakland split a four-game series by the bay from May 26-29.
07/01 10:33:56 ET