Rick Porcello is looking for a share of the major league lead in wins, though he hasn’t earned one in his last three home starts.
He’ll try to end that drought by going for the longest shutout streak of his career when the Detroit Tigers face the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday night.
Porcello (10-4, 3.41 ERA) is tied with five others for the second-most wins in baseball, one fewer than Masahiro Tanaka of the New York Yankees. He’s looking to being named to his first All-Star game.
"Absolutely," manager Brad Ausmus told MLB’s official website about whether his pitcher should be selected to the AL squad. "I don’t want to jinx the guy, but it’s certainly a legitimate discussion."
Porcello has struggled at home recently, going 0-2 with a 6.05 ERA in his last three there, but enters this outing on a 16-inning scoreless streak that matches his career high set May 23-June 2, 2013.
The right-hander’s current scoreless run is over three starts, and he’s won the last two on the road in dominant fashion.
Porcello tossed a three-hitter for his second career complete game in a 6-0 win over Texas on Thursday. He threw a season-high 115 pitches but needed only 10 to induce three groundball outs in the ninth, earning his first shutout.
"You just worry about the pitch count. We don’t want him going much above 115, maybe top out at 120," Ausmus said.
Porcello’s efficiency is evident in double-play situations, as he’s induced 16 in 48 chances for a 33.3-percent success rate that’s among the best in the majors. He got Texas to hit into three double plays.
He only managed to get one at Oakland on May 29 and labored through 5 2-3 innings, throwing 105 pitches and allowing two runs with six walks while hitting a batter in a 5-4 win.
Porcello has gone 2-1 with a 2.95 ERA in three home starts against the A’s.
Rajai Davis is 5 for 12 in four meetings with Oakland this year after connecting for a walkoff grand slam in Monday’s 5-4 win in the opener of this three-game series.
"I can’t even remember the last time I did that," Davis said. "It must have been in my dreams, while I was sleeping."
The loss was the A’s third in 12 games. They’ll look to rebound behind another strong start from Brad Mills (1-0, 4.35), who remains in the rotation in place of the injured Drew Pomeranz.
Mills, acquired from Milwaukee for cash last month, earned an 8-5 road win over the New York Mets on Wednesday. He allowed three runs and nine hits in 6 1-3 innings for his first win since July 8, 2012.
He had been toiling in the minors and Japan last year since that most recent victory.
"I think he’s got a good little mix right there that keeps guys off balance really well," first baseman Brandon Moss said. "He definitely fits in. These guys, our front office here, they do their homework before they go and get a guy."
Coco Crisp has gone 8 for 22 (.364) with one homer, three RBIs and five runs in his last five games. The center fielder, who doubled for one of his two hits Monday, is 6 for 16 (.375) against Porcello.