American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, June 28th
(All times Eastern)
Detroit Tigers (36-39) at Tampa Bay Rays (40-35), 7:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Detroit - Max Scherzer (6-5, 5.12)
Tampa Bay - James Shields (7-4, 3.99)
(Sports Network) - Workhorse right-hander James Shields aims for his second
win of the year against Detroit and the sixth of his career when the Tampa Bay
Rays host the Tigers in the opener of a four-game series at Tropicana Field.
Shields, a 30-year-old California native, was a 4-2 winner when the teams met
on April 11 in Detroit. He earned his first victory of the season after going
eight innings and allowing two runs on six hits.
He won his initial five decisions of the 2012 campaign, but is just 2-4 since.
In eight lifetime meetings with the Tigers, he is 5-0 with a 3.51 earned run
average and 41 strikeouts across 51 1/3 innings, while permitting a .270
opposition batting average.
On Wednesday in Kansas City, Billy Butler's solo homer in the bottom of the
eighth inning lifted the Royals over the Rays, 5-4, in the finale of a three-
Ben Zobrist went 3-for-4 with three RBI in the loss for the Rays, who went 3-6
on a nine-game road trip. Jeff Keppinger drove in a run.
"It was tough. It's a tough way to end a road trip," Zobrist said. "They
played great over there. They did everything. They hit the ball really well
this series. They pitched really well and played good defense. We just
couldn't really get anything going."
Matt Moore allowed four runs on 10 hits over 7 1/3 innings. Burke Badenhop
(1-2) gave up the homer to Butler to take the loss.
Also on Wednesday, in Texas, David Murphy had two homers among his four hits
and drove in five runs, leading the Rangers to a wild 13-9 win over the
Quintin Berry, Alex Avila and Jhonny Peralta had three hits apiece for the
Tigers, but they lost for the fourth time in their last six games.
Doug Fister (1-5) gave up nine runs - eight earned - in just 4 1/3 innings to
take the loss. He allowed nine hits, a walk and struck out five.
The Rangers scored two runs in the eighth after Detroit had pulled within 11-9
in the top of the inning and Joe Nathan kept the Tigers off the board in the
On Thursday, Tampa Bay's Shields will be opposed by Detroit righty Max
Scherzer, who's won five of seven decisions since starting the season at 1-3.
The St. Louis native defeated Colorado, 5-0, after allowing seven hits in
eight scoreless innings on June 17, then dropped a 4-1 verdict at Pittsburgh
six days later after allowing three runs on three hits in six innings.
He's struck out at least seven batters in three straight starts and eight
times in 15 starts overall - accounting for 107 Ks in 84 1/3 innings.
Scherzer is 4-3 in nine road starts this season with a 5.01 earned run
The Tigers lead the all-time series between the teams, 54-52, and won six of
seven last season and two of three in a series earlier this season at Comerica
Park. The Rays' only win against them in 2012 came from Shields.
06/28 10:45:43 ET