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American League Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, April 19 (All times eastern)

Detroit Tigers (9-6) at LA Angels of Anaheim (4-10), 10:05 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Detroit - Anibal Sanchez (2-0, 1.42) LA Angels - Tommy Hanson (1-1, 6.55)

(Sports Network) - Torii Hunter makes his return to Angel Stadium, as the Detroit Tigers are out west to open a three-game series with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Friday.

After the Angels balked at re-signing Hunter after he hit a career-best .313 last season, the veteran outfielder moved on to sign a two-year, $26 million deal with defending AL champion Detroit.

And the Tigers have certainly reaped early rewards. Entering play Friday, Hunter leads the American League with a .413 batting average and 26 hits.

Although he carries an 11-game hitting streak, Hunter was given off on Thursday as Detroit suffered a 2-0 loss at Seattle, the team's first setback in five games. Still, the Tigers own a half-game lead over Kansas City atop the AL Central Division standings.

The Angels were rained out for Wednesday's series finale against Minnesota, and Thursday was a scheduled off day. Coming off the two-day break, they hope to avoid their worst 15-game start in franchise history. Second baseman Howie Kendrick acknowledged the challenge of trying to replace a team leader like Hunter.

"He was a big piece of our team, but at the same time, we have a lot of guys that step up and play the game, too," Kendrick said. "He was a very vocal leader, he was a very passionate guy about the game, but we have a lot of guys in this locker room that are very passionate and play with a lot of vigor."

More than just energy and passion, the Angels need their starters to begin stringing together stronger outings. The rotation's 6.07 ERA is the highest in the majors, as the bullpen has been forced into action early and often. Tommy Hanson, Wednesday's scheduled starter, will now take the hill for the Halos for Friday's series opener, which kicks off a six-game homestand.

Hanson served up hits to each of the first four batters he faced last Friday against Houston, and he went on to give up all five runs in a 5-0 loss.

"I've always been told that starting pitching sets the tone and I didn't set the tone."

For the Tigers, Anibal Sanchez takes aim at his third straight win. The right- hander lasted seven innings and struck out eight batters in each of his last two outings, netting wins over Toronto and Oakland.

The teams split 10 meetings last season.

04/19 10:29:41 ET

  • NASL: RailHawks vs. Ft. Lauderdale

    Saturday at 7:30 am on WRAL-2

  • PGA: RBC Heritage

    Saturday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA: RBC Heritage

    Sunday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA: Zurich Classic of New Orleans

    Saturday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • MiLB: Durham Bulls vs. Norfolk Tides

    Tomorrow at 7:05 pm on 620am

  • MLB: Atlanta Braves at NY Mets

    Saturday at 7:05 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Boston Red Sox

    Sunday at 7:05 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
CHI
7:05pm Tonight
DUR
NOR
 
Final
CIN 4
PIT 0
Final
BAL 3
TAM 0
Final
NYY 3
CHC 0
Final
MIL 5
STL 1
Final
ARI 2
NYM 5
7:05pm Tonight
PHI
ATL
7:05pm Tonight
NYY
CHC
7:08pm Tonight
DET
CLE
7:10pm Tonight
MIA
WAS
8:05pm Tonight
TEX
SEA
8:10pm Tonight
CWS
BOS
8:10pm Tonight
HOU
KAN
8:10pm Tonight
MIN 0
TOR 0
10:05pm Tonight
ANA
OAK
10:10pm Tonight
SDP
COL
10:15pm Tonight
SFG
LOS
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
CHI
7:00pm Tonight
ORL
IND
8:00pm Tonight
MIL
ATL
8:00pm Tonight
CLE
BRK
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
DAL
8:00pm Tonight
OKC
DET
8:00pm Tonight
NOP
HOU
8:00pm Tonight
SAN
LAL
8:00pm Tonight
MIA
PHI
8:00pm Tonight
NYK
TOR
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
UTA
8:00pm Tonight
BOS
WAS
10:30pm Tonight
DEN
GSW
10:30pm Tonight
POR
LAC
10:30pm Tonight
SAC
PHO
7:00pm Tonight
TAM
MON
7:30pm Tonight
PIT
CLB
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
DAL
7:05pm Tonight
DUR
NOR