Rangers-Tigers Preview

After finally showing signs of life at the plate, the Detroit

Tigers are right back in the AL championship series.

The Tigers hope for another big offensive effort Wednesday as

they try to even the series against the Texas Rangers in Game 4 at

Comerica Park.

After totaling five runs and 15 hits while dropping the first

two games in Texas, Detroit banged out a postseason-high 11 hits

during a 5-2 win Tuesday. Miguel Cabrera hit one of the Tigers’

three homers and delivered a tiebreaking double to help make the

series a little more interesting with at least two more games

remaining at Comerica.

“It’s going to be a long series,” Cabrera said. “You’ve got to

be patient. We got to go out there and do our job and try to even

the series (Wednesday).”

Doug Fister threw 7 1-3 strong innings while Victor Martinez and

Jhonny Peralta also homered for the Tigers, who had one home run

through the previous two games.

Martinez’s fourth-inning homer tied Game 3, but he appeared to

suffer an oblique injury on the swing. Though he remained in the

game, Martinez’s status is uncertain. The Tigers already lost

Magglio Ordonez for the rest of the postseason with an ankle injury

and scratched Delmon Young from Tuesday’s lineup because of a

nagging oblique problem.

“You know what? This is us,” manager Jim Leyland said. “We are

what we are. We’ve been doing this for the whole year, and we’re

going to either win this thing or go down with what we got.”

Thankfully for the Tigers, Cabrera is healthy.

The veteran first baseman was 5 for 23 with a homer and three

RBIs this postseason prior to going 2 for 4 on Tuesday. He’s 6 for

15 with a double against scheduled Texas starter Matt Harrison

(1-0, 4.76 ERA), who looks to find a way to beat Detroit for the

first time in his career.

The left-hander is 0-4 with a 7.43 ERA in five career starts

versus the Tigers, including 0-2 with a 6.30 ERA in two this

season. He is 0-3 with a 7.03 ERA at Comerica.

“They’re a tough lineup,” Harrison said. “The big thing is you

have to keep them uncomfortable at the plate.”

Harrison allowed two runs and struck out nine in five innings of

the Rangers’ 4-3, AL division series-clinching win at Tampa Bay on

Oct. 4. He also yielded one run in two-thirds of an inning of

relief in Texas’ 9-0 Game 1 loss to the Rays on Sept. 30.

“It’s been a great experience so far, and I’m looking forward to

more (Wednesday),” said Harrison, who was left off the Rangers’

postseason roster in 2010.

The Tigers counter with Rick Porcello (0-1, 4.50), who they hope

gained some confidence after he pitched two innings of scoreless

relief in the 3-2 Game 1 loss at Texas. That effort came after

Porcello allowed four runs and hit two batters over six innings of

a 10-1 home loss in Game 4 against New York on Oct. 4.

“I feel good. My arm feels fresh,” Porcello said. “I feel like

the ball is coming out of my hand better. I’ll be ready to go

(Wednesday), and physically everything will be there.”

The right-hander is 1-1 with a 6.30 ERA as a starter against the

Rangers, with both outings coming on the road.

Texas third baseman Adrian Beltre, just 1 for 6 versus Porcello,

went 0 for 4 on Tuesday and could be limited for Game 4 after he

was noticeably hobbled from taking a foul ball off his knee. An

X-ray showed it was a bruise.

Ian Kinsler and Josh Hamilton each had two hits and an RBI while

catcher Yorvit Torrealba added three hits as the Rangers had their

five-game postseason winning streak snapped.

Hamilton is 4 for 9 with two RBIs in the last two games but 0

for 3 versus Porcello.