A return to interleague play appears to have given the Detroit
Tigers just the boost they needed to end their recent
After winning back-to-back games to conclude the weekend, the
Tigers may have a good chance to keep heading in the right
direction when they take on the struggling Chicago Cubs on Tuesday
Detroit (28-32) had dropped seven of 10 heading into a series
against NL Central-leading Cincinnati, but left Great American Ball
Park with two victories in three games. Austin Jackson homered and
hit a two-run double off Reds closer Aroldis Chapman to rally his
team to a 7-6 win Sunday.
“Taking two out of three from a first-place team and a really
good team is a step in the right direction. We’ve certainly been
challenged. We need to get a couple of our guys back,” manager Jim
Leyland said. “We’ve got to be tough.”
The Tigers have been very tough on the Cubs in recent matchups,
winning seven in a row. They recorded a three-game sweep during
their most recent visit to Wrigley Field from June 16-18, 2006.
Detroit has won of 11 of 14 meetings with Chicago during
interleague play and five straight at Wrigley.
Chicago (20-40) has lost 20 of 25 and sits at the bottom of the
NL Central as it returns home after a 2-8 road trip. The Cubs have
won three straight at Wrigley by virtue of a sweep of San Diego
from May 28-30.
They stopped a four-game skid with an 8-2 win over Minnesota on
“We needed to go out feeling OK, get good self-esteem about our
team,” outfielder David DeJesus told the team’s website. “We have a
tough series ahead of us and at least we can go home feeling, ‘Yes,
we won a game,’ and hopefully we can get that feeling again in
Paul Maholm (4-5, 5.10 ERA) is looking to end a three-game
losing streak after lasting four innings during an 8-0 defeat to
Milwaukee on Wednesday. He gave up four runs and has posted a 6.41
ERA over his last five starts, not pitching more than 5 1-3 innings
in his last three outings.
“You have to keep going. I have 20-some starts left,” Maholm
said. “Trust me, I’m not happy. I’m not having fun. It’s time for
me to get deeper into games on a consistent basis.”
The left-hander has gone 0-1 with a 2.38 ERA in two starts
against Detroit. He gave up two runs over 5 1-3 innings of a 2-0
home loss to the Tigers for Pittsburgh on May 22, 2011.
The Tigers’ scheduled starter will also be looking to get back
on track, as Max Scherzer (5-4, 5.88) is coming off his worst
outing of the year. The right-hander gave up a season-high eight
runs over 4 1-3 innings of a 9-6 loss to Cleveland on
Scherzer did not get a decision in his only start against the
Cubs on May 10, 2008, while with Arizona, pitching six innings and
giving up no earned runs in a 7-2 loss.