American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Monday, September 16th
(All times Eastern)
Seattle Mariners (66-83) at Detroit Tigers (86-63), 7:08 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Seattle - Joe Saunders (11-14, 5.18)
Detroit - Rick Porcello (12-8, 4.56)
(Sports Network) - Coming off his first career complete game, Rick Porcello
tries to move the Detroit Tigers closer to an AL Central title on Monday
evening in the opener of a four-game series with the Seattle Mariners.
Porcello won for the third time in his last four starts with a one-run effort
against the White Sox on Tuesday. The righty worked around seven hits and a
walk while striking out six in going the distance for the first time.
"He had some innings where he got some quick outs and I think that saved him,"
Tigers manager Jim Leyland said of Porcello, who improved to 12-8 with a 4.56
earned run average this season.
Porcello, 24, has not faced the Mariners this season and is 3-2 against them
lifetime with a 3.79 ERA in six starts.
Detroit has a magic number of nine to seal up the division crown after beating
the Kansas City Royals 3-2 on Sunday. It is five games up on Cleveland,
which won on Sunday.
The Tigers won for the fourth time in their past five games as Alex Avila
drove in all three runs on a pair of homers, while Prince Fielder had three
Max Scherzer was again denied his 20th victory of the season, but did match a
season high with 12 strikeouts in the no-decision.
Looking to slow Detroit's postseason march will be Joe Saunders, who is 11-14
with a 5.18 ERA in 30 starts and has struggled as of late for the Mariners.
The veteran lefty has lost four of his past five decisions with a 7.53 ERA
over that seven-start span. He is coming off a loss to Houston on Tuesday,
charged with six runs on seven hits and a walk in just three innings of work.
That was the second-shortest outing of the season for Saunders, behind a 1
2/3-inning effort versus Pittsburgh on June 25.
"He's a great competitor but you haven't seen the command," Mariners manager
Eric Wedge said.
Saunders, 32, is 1-2 with a 5.26 ERA in nine lifetime meetings with the Tigers
and faces them for the first time since 2011.
Seattle was routed in St. Louis 12-2 on Sunday to drop the rubber match of a
three-game set. The Mariners had held the Cardinals to three runs in the first
two contests, but starter Erasmo Ramirez was drilled for five runs and eight
hits over five innings.
The M's were held to just five hits, with Abraham Almonte driving in a run and
scoring once in Seattle's sixth loss in seven games.
The Tigers took two of three from the Mariners in Seattle back in April, but
were swept in three games in the lone meeting between the clubs last year in
09/16 17:39:11 ET