The Detroit Tigers are looking for Rick Porcello to bring his best stuff on the road after his early-season success at home.
Considering his recent history at Target Field, he might deliver in Friday night’s series opener with the Minnesota Twins.
Porcello (2-1, 3.15 ERA) is coming off another impressive outing at Comerica Park, limiting the Angels to a run and five hits over seven innings in a 2-1 victory Sunday.
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While he owns a 1.32 ERA in two home starts, he gave up five runs and 10 hits over 6 1-3 innings of a 6-0 loss at San Diego on April 11 in his only road outing. Keeping the ball down in the zone appears to be imperative for Porcello, who had a 61.5 groundball percentage against the Padres compared to 80.0 percent in his other two starts.
"There were a couple of balls up in the zone that the Padres’ hitters took advantage of," manager Brad Ausmus said.
While Porcello is just 1-2 with a 5.35 ERA over seven starts versus Minnesota since the start of 2012, he should feel comfortable at Target Field, where he’s 4-1 with a 2.52 ERA in his last six outings.
The Tigers (11-8) have also had plenty of success recently in Minneapolis, winning 20 of their last 28 there.
Miguel Cabrera seems to have come to life at the plate, going 6 for 13 with six RBIs as Detroit took two of the final three in its four-game set with the White Sox. Cabrera’s six hits in his last three games are as many as he had in his previous 11.
"It’s always good when your reigning MVP gets rolling," Ausmus told the team’s website. "He got a couple hits with some big RBIs, so we hope to keep Miggy rolling as we go into this road trip."
Though Cabrera hit a pedestrian .239 in 19 games versus Minnesota last season, he drew 11 walks, drove in 16 runs and is 11 for 28 (.393) against Friday’s starter Kevin Correia.
The Twins (11-10) have won three of four and are rolling offensively, totaling 15 runs and 24 hits in back-to-back wins over Tampa Bay.
Chris Colabello’s eight-game hitting streak came to an end in Thursday’s 9-7 victory, but the club’s No. 6 and 7 hitters – Kurt Suzuki and Sam Fuld – were a combined 6 for 9 with five RBIs. Aaron Hicks, the No. 8 hitter, also connected on a three-run homer.
Correia (0-2, 5.47) could use the support given how susceptible he’s been to big innings. He allowed four earned runs – all in the fourth – and nine hits in six innings of a 5-4 loss at Kansas City on Saturday. He’s already given up at least three runs in a single inning three times this season.
Correia has been solid in six career starts versus Detroit with a 2.75 ERA, but he’s just 1-3 largely due to a 1.6 run-support average. He was backed with just two runs of support in 20 2-3 innings against the Tigers last year.
Austin Jackson is 17 for 36 (.447) during an eight-game hitting streak versus Minnesota, while Torii Hunter has recorded multiple hits in 16 of his last 31 games against his former team.