Tigers-Athletics Preview

The Detroit Tigers are certainly capable of scoring a lot of

runs. They just hope to do it on a more consistent basis.

Coming off one of their best offensive performances of the

season, the Tigers continue their four-game road set with the

Oakland Athletics on Friday night.

One night after being held to five hits in a 2-1 loss at

Seattle, Detroit (16-15) matched a season high with 17 en route to

a 10-6 win Thursday at Oakland. Miguel Cabrera and Andy Dirks each

had four hits as the Tigers scored their most runs since a 13-12,

11-inning win over Boston on April 8.

Despite their lineup of big hitters like Cabrera, Prince

Fielder, Delmon Young and Alex Avila, the Tigers are batting .255,

and until Thursday ranked near the middle of the majors with 124

runs. They scored eight times in the third inning of the

opener.

“We finally got it going,” said Cabrera, who had three RBIs.

“That’s what we are looking for. It’s not one guy. We scored a lot

of runs, hopefully we can do it (Friday) and the rest of the

season.”

Hitless in his previous 14 at-bats heading into the series

opener, Cabrera was one of four Tigers who took extra batting

practice Thursday. He’s batting .344 with 32 RBIs in 35 career

games versus Oakland.

Dirks is 12 for 21 (.571) with two home runs and six RBIs in his

last five games.

Detroit, though, has not won consecutive contests since a

four-game run April 15-18.

“One night doesn’t mean we’re out of our offensive woes, but

that’s a good sign for us,” manager Jim Leyland said. “It does get

contagious. I do believe in that.”

After Max Scherzer pitched 6 1-3 strong innings, Detroit’s Rick

Porcello (3-2, 4.91 ERA) tries for a third straight victory

Friday.

The right-hander allowed one homer among four hits in 6 1-3

innings of a 3-1 win over Chicago on Sunday. After giving up 14

runs in 7 2-3 innings of consecutive losses to Texas and Seattle,

Porcello has yielded four in 14 1-3 innings of the last two after

working with pitching coach Jeff Jones to fine-tune his

delivery.

“(Jones) sees a lot and he’s extremely helpful when it comes to

certain things like that in your delivery to consistently execute

pitches,” Porcello told the Tigers’ official website.

Porcello is 2-4 with a 4.39 ERA in seven starts against the A’s,

including 0-3 with a 5.56 ERA in four at Oakland.

He will try to contain ex-Tiger Brandon Inge, who hit his second

grand slam in three games Thursday. Inge, who broke in with the

Tigers in 2001 and was released by them April 26, is 5 for 15 with

three homers and 12 RBIs in his last four games.

“It’s been pretty impressive,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said.

“He’s been coming up in big situations. It’s very welcome.”

Tommy Milone (4-2, 4.42) hopes to avoid a third straight rough

outing Friday when he faces the Tigers for the first time.

The left-hander was 3-1 with a 2.00 ERA before he allowed 13

runs in 9 2-3 innings while splitting his last two outings. Milone

gave up five runs – four in the first inning – and a season-high

four walks in five innings but still earned the win in a 9-5

victory at Tampa Bay on Sunday.