Rockies-Tigers Preview

No team in baseball may be happier that interleague play ends

next weekend than the Colorado Rockies.

Having dropped 10 of their first 11 crossover games, Colorado

concludes a three-game series with the Detroit Tigers on Sunday at

Comerica Park.

The Rockies entered interleague play with a 56-37 mark against

the AL since 2006, and though they still own the NL’s best record

against the Junior Circuit during that time, the AL hasn’t been

kind to them in 2012.

Colorado (25-39), which concludes interleague action against

Texas from June 22-24, fell to 1-10 in such contests after

Saturday’s 4-1 defeat, committing a pair of costly fifth-inning

errors that helped lead to its ninth loss in 10 games overall.

Miguel Cabrera hit a routine comebacker to lead off the fifth,

but he was able to circle the bases after two throwing errors.

“He doesn’t score on that play if someone just grabs the ball

and holds on to it, but young players try to do too much,” manager

Jim Tracy said.

In his sixth full season as a starter, Jeremy Guthrie can’t use

that same excuse.

Guthrie (3-5, 6.91 ERA) has allowed at least five runs in seven

of his 10 starts, and he’s given up seven in each of his last two.

He surrendered 11 hits in only 3 1-3 innings in a loss to Arizona

on June 5, then tied a season worst by allowing three homers over

five innings of an 8-5 loss to Oakland on Tuesday.

The home crowd booed him as he left after the third inning,

sarcastically tipping his cap to the discouraged fans.

“I understand where the boos come from, and like anybody else I

was frustrated – frustrated with myself,” Guthrie said. “I go in

with a lot of confidence into each outing. Unfortunately, it hasn’t

worked out the last few.”

The right-hander is yielding a .328 opponents’ average, which is

tied with Minnesota’s Nick Blackburn and former Rockies teammate

Jamie Moyer for the third-worst mark in the majors.

Guthrie made two starts versus Detroit with Baltimore last

season and went 0-1 with a 7.71 ERA, numbers that don’t figure to

fly against a Tigers team that has won five of seven.

Cabrera also hit a first-inning homer Saturday for the Tigers

(31-34), whose 77-42 mark in interleague play since 2006 is

second-best in the majors to Boston.

Detroit is 7-4 against the NL this season, but finds itself in

third place in the AL Central. It’s starting to get healthier,

though, with Austin Jackson back the past week from an abdominal

strain and Doug Fister returning from the DL on Saturday.

“We’re not doing real good, but we are doing a pretty good job

of weathering the storm,” manager Jim Leyland told the team’s

official website. “And if we get everybody back, shame on us if we

don’t do something.”

Detroit will send Max Scherzer to the hill as he tries to get

back on track.

Scherzer (5-4, 5.76 ERA) allowed eight runs – five earned – in 4

1-3 innings of a loss to Cleveland on June 6, then gave up three

runs and walked five in six innings without earning a decision in

Detroit’s 4-3 loss at Wrigley Field on Tuesday.

The right-hander will be searching for his first career win over

the Rockies after going 0-3 with a 5.48 ERA in four starts. All of

those came from 2008-09 with Arizona.