Tigers-Mariners Preview

The Detroit Tigers have played as many road games as any team in

the majors. Their recent results away from home have not been

good.

Rick Porcello takes the ball Wednesday when the Tigers look to

end their seven-game trip on a positive note against a Seattle

Mariners team coming off its highest-scoring game of the

season.

After winning Monday’s series opener 8-3, Detroit (8-10) lost

for the third time in four games and fell to 5-7 on the road with

Tuesday’s 13-3 loss. Minnesota is the only other club to have

played 12 road games.

The Tigers, who open a six-game homestand Friday to begin a

stretch of 10 of 13 at Comerica Park, will try to get a solid

performance from Porcello (0-2, 6.19 ERA) after Phil Coke and three

relievers walked 11 on Tuesday.

“(Coke) didn’t have any command of his fastball. He didn’t have

command of the strike zone,” manager Jim Leyland said. “We didn’t

all night.”

Porcello did not earn a decision Friday, but walked just one and

threw six innings of one-run ball in an 8-4, 10-inning victory over

Oakland.

He also gave up seven hits, though, and opponents are batting

.362 off the 22-year-old right-hander.

Porcello is 2-0 with a 3.57 ERA in three starts against Seattle,

but a couple of Mariners hitters have good track records versus

him. Ichiro Suzuki, whose season-high four hits Tuesday raised his

average to .286, is 4 for 9 off Porcello. Designated hitter Jack

Cust is 4 for 11 with two homers.

Chone Figgins and Michael Saunders had three hits apiece Tuesday

to help the Mariners (6-12) set season highs in both runs and hits

(15).

The Mariners entered Tuesday’s matchup batting an AL-worst .217,

and having scored 15 runs while dropping five of their previous

six.

“It’s nice to be on this side…,” first baseman Chris Gimenez

said after going 2 for 3 with two RBIs in place of Justin Smoak,

who was placed on the bereavement list Tuesday and is out

indefinitely following the death of his father. “Hopefully we can

keep it rolling into the next couple of days.”

Surprisingly, Wednesday’s starter Erik Bedard (0-3, 8.56) has

received plenty of run support. Three of Seattle’s seven

highest-scoring games this season have come with the left-hander on

the mound, but those efforts have been wasted due to Bedard’s poor

performance.

Bedard surrendered five runs and seven hits in 4 2-3 innings of

Friday’s 6-5 loss at Kansas City. His 106 pitches were the most

he’d thrown since June 2, 2009, before shoulder surgery that caused

him to miss all of last season.

“Erik is a work in progress in regards to just being back on the

mound,” manager Eric Wedge told the Mariners’ official website.

“… I’m really pleased with his stuff. He just needs to continue

to take steps.”

Bedard is 1-2 with a 4.98 ERA in four starts against

Detroit.

Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera, 2 for 9 with a homer off

Bedard, is batting .387 in 15 career games in Seattle.