Magglio Ordonez’s absence hasn’t kept the Detroit Tigers from
moving into position to earn their first sweep of the Pittsburgh
With Ordonez’s status still uncertain, the Tigers look to extend
the Pirates’ losing streak to eight as the teams wrap up a
three-game set Sunday.
Carlos Guillen hit a leadoff home run in the 10th inning to give
Detroit (32-29) a 4-3 win over Pittsburgh (23-39) on Saturday
Another victory over the Pirates would give the Tigers their
first series sweep against them. This is the eighth series these
teams have played, with Detroit winning 13 of 23 matchups.
The Pirates, losers of 10 straight on the road and seven in a
row overall, hardly seem in any shape to match up with the Tigers.
Still, Detroit manager Jim Leyland doesn’t want his club to have a
letdown against the franchise he managed from 1986-1996.
“That’s still a good major league team,” Leyland said. “They’ve
got one of the best young players in baseball in (Andrew)
McCutchen, and some good, young athletes.”
Detroit has been getting by without Ordonez (oblique), who has
missed five straight games and is day to day. Detroit has Monday
off, so Leyland may decide to keep the 36-year-old right fielder on
the bench again to give him two more days to rest.
“He may feel great (Sunday) and if he feels great, I’ll play
him,” Leyland told the Tigers’ official website. “If he doesn’t, I
won’t. If there’s any question about it, then I’d give him (Sunday)
off, obviously. There would be no sense to risk anything if there
is any question or doubt whatsoever.”
If Armando Galarraga (2-1, 2.77 ERA) continues his strong
pitching, Detroit may not need much production from its lineup.
Galarraga didn’t receive a decision in his last start, allowing
two runs in five innings of a 7-2 win over the Chicago White Sox on
Tuesday night. It was his first outing since a blown call with two
outs in the ninth inning against Cleveland on June 2 ruined a bid
for a perfect game.
The right-hander, though, struggled in his only start against
the Pirates, surrendering four runs and eight hits in two innings
as the Tigers lost 9-3 on June 13, 2009.
Pittsburgh will counter with Jeff Karstens (1-2, 4.81), who is
making his third straight start following a stint in the bullpen.
The right-hander gave up four runs and nine hits in five innings of
a 5-2 loss to Washington on Tuesday night.
Karstens is 0-2 with a 6.48 ERA in three road starts. This is
his first appearance versus the Tigers.
Pirates pitchers continue to get little support. Pittsburgh is
averaging 2.4 runs during its skid on the road, and the club’s 201
total runs are tied with Baltimore for worst in the majors.
Garrett Jones, though, has been a bright spot for the Pirates.
He hit a solo homer Saturday and is 7 for 15 (.467) over his last
Jones is 6 for 12 in four games at Detroit.