Brad Penny has one more chance to prove he’s deserving of a spot
on the Detroit Tigers’ postseason roster.
The veteran right-hander looks to avoid another subpar effort
Sunday against the Baltimore Orioles at Comerica Park.
With ace Justin Verlander, Doug Fister and Max Scherzer making
up Detroit’s AL division series rotation, and 14-game winner Rick
Porcello likely a long reliever for the first round and the fourth
starter if the club reaches the league championship series, Penny
(10-11, 5.31 ERA) appears to be the odd man out.
He hasn’t done much to help his cause in his last five starts,
going 1-2 with an 8.28 ERA.
“It’s frustrating,” Penny told the Tigers’ official website.
“I’m just going to keep working, keep going out there and trying to
Penny, who allowed seven runs in four innings of a 10-2 loss at
Kansas City on Tuesday, insists his own postseason fate has not
become a distraction.
“That’s not something I can concern myself with,” said Penny,
who won a World Series with Florida in 2003. “I’ve just got to go
out and pitch every fifth day and whenever I get the
He has given up four runs and two homers over 5 1-3 innings in
each of his two starts this season versus Baltimore, going 1-0 in
Penny now looks to help the Tigers (91-67) bounce back after
Verlander saw his streak of 12 consecutive winning starts snapped
in Saturday’s 6-5 loss. The defeat dropped Detroit one game behind
Texas for home-field advantage in the first round.
“I’m not worried that it is gone, and I don’t care that I didn’t
get the loss,” Verlander said. “We lost. That’s all that
Miguel Cabrera homered for the second straight game and finished
with three hits as Detroit overcame a four-run deficit to tie the
game in the eighth. Baltimore (67-91), however, regained the lead
with a suicide squeeze in the top of the ninth.
Cabrera is 14 for 31 (.452) with four homers and nine RBIs
against the Orioles in 2011.
Orioles rookie outfielder Matt Angle opened the game with his
first career homer and Mark Reynolds hit his 37th as Baltimore won
for the ninth time in 12 games.
While Reynolds has hit more than 30 homers in three straight
seasons, he’s also 10 strikeouts shy from his fourth consecutive
season with at least 200.
After finishing tied for second among rookies with 10 wins last
season, Brian Matusz (1-8, 10.68) concludes his disappointing
abbreviated 2011 for the Orioles on Sunday.
Matusz, who missed the first two months of the season with a
muscle strain and also spent 1 1/2 months at Triple-A Norfolk, has
allowed 11 runs in three innings while going 0-1 in his last two
starts. The left-hander gave up six runs in 1 2-3 innings of an
18-9 loss at Boston on Monday.
“It’s tough, but I’ve got to keep working and learn from
mistakes,” Matusz said. “It will come around. It will happen. It’s
just that I have to keep working. I know I have the stuff.”
Matusz has won both his career starts versus Detroit while
allowing two runs over 11 innings, but neither of those outings
took place this year.