Athletics-Tigers Preview

The Detroit Tigers own the second-best record in the AL against left-handed starters even though Scott Kazmir cruised past them about a month ago.

That victory started a major roll for Kazmir that ended with a thud in his latest outing, and he'll look to regroup Monday night in the opener of the Oakland Athletics' three-game road series against the Tigers.

The Tigers are 15-8 when opponents start a left-hander, second only to the Athletics' 16-8 mark.

Kazmir (9-3, 2.66 ERA) posted the second complete game of his career May 28, striking out eight and allowing six hits in a 3-1 victory over Detroit (44-34) that started a four-game win streak.

He had posted a 1.27 ERA in a five-start span beginning with that outing against the Tigers, but surrendered a season-high seven runs over three innings in a 10-1 loss to the New York Mets last Tuesday.

"I'm not worried. I don't think we're worried at all," catcher Stephen Vogt told MLB's official website after that game. "He's such a good pitcher. He's been strong all year for us. Just one bad night."

Kazmir, limiting opponents to a .217 average, has had trouble against Victor Martinez (11 for 23) and Rajai Davis (9 for 18).

He will again match up with Anibal Sanchez (5-2, 2.64), who was in position to win last month's meeting. Sanchez took a shutout into the bottom of the ninth inning before closer Joe Nathan allowed Josh Donaldson's three-run homer.

The right-hander has gone 0-2 with an 8.40 ERA in three career home starts against Oakland, including a 6-3 loss in Game 3 of last year's AL division series in which he allowed six runs over 4 1-3 innings.

Sanchez has gone 5-0 with a 2.42 ERA in eight starts since returning from the disabled list May 18. He won his third straight outing by yielding four runs over 5 1-3 innings of an 8-6 victory at Texas on Wednesday.

He will be facing an Oakland lineup missing one regular and possibly two. Josh Reddick was placed on the 15-day disabled list Sunday with a strained right knee while catcher Derek Norris has been out the last two games with back problems.

The A's (51-30) recalled Nate Freiman on Sunday, and he delivered a three-run homer in their fourth straight win, 4-3 at Miami.

''Nate had a full year in the big leagues last year and knows what it is all about,'' Melvin said. ''He is not intimidated by it. He gets called up, and on Day 1 has the biggest hit of the game. He knows how to play.''

The Tigers are back home after a 7-2 trip.

Ian Kinsler is expected back in the lineup after he did not start Sunday with manager Brad Ausmus giving him a rest. Kinsler is 4 for 33 off Kazmir.

Detroit lost two of three in Houston over the weekend. Miguel Cabrera was 0 for 13 in the series and Martinez 1 for 12.

''Those are the guys we lean on,'' Ausmus said. ''They are going to have struggles. It's going to happen. They scuffled a little bit swinging the bat.''

These clubs split four meetings in Oakland last month.

MLB Postseason Shop
Get The Fastest MLB
Scores, News and Alerts

Text yourself the FOX Sports App