Tune in at 7:05 PM ET as the Tigers take on the Rays. Craig Seward will be liveblogging for your enjoyment.
Good evening everyone and welcome to the Score’s liveblog of tonight’s AL match-up between the Detroit Tigers and Tampa Bay Rays.
Both of these teams are coming off series’ losses. The Tigers were outgunned in Texas earlier this week, while the Rays were swept at the hands of the lowly Royals.
Tampa really struggling in the East. The Yanks are on fire and are starting to create some distance. Rays really need to get healthy, and quick.
They'll take a 1st step at doing that, as Luke Scott returns from the 15 day DL.
The Tigers have owned the bragging rights between these two as of late, winning 9 of the last 11 games played between the two clubs. Here’s how tonight’s line-up cards look:
Tonight’s Starting Pitchers: Max Scherzer (6-5, 5.12) vs. James Shields (7-4, 3.99)
Despite the unsightly record and ERA, Scherzer has been pitching well of late. He’s won five of his last seven starts and has registered a quality start in each of his last three on the road. Scherzer has never beaten the Rays in his career (0-2, 3.04 ERA).
Shields meanwhile has won 2 of his last 3 starts with an ERA under 2.20 in each of those starts. He has gone 6 or deeper in each of his last six ballgames.
Beautiful night for baseball in Tampa. Too bad this game is being played in the Trop!
Jackson to lead it off for the Tigers in the 1st. Shields 1st pitch...is right down the gun. We are underway in Tampa!
Jackson enters tonight’s game at Tampa Bay tops among all American League players with a .404 on-base percentage in the lead-off spot of the batting order this season.
Shields makes easy work of Jackson on four pitches, featuring that nasty change early. One down for Berry.
Berry went 3-4 against the Rangers in last night’s game. With that, he became only the second Tigers player since 1918 to have at least five games with three or more hits in the first 32 games of his career.
0-2 to Berry as his attempt at getting on with a bunt is futile. Shields dealing early.
Two down as Shields freezes Berry looking for something else! Looks like he is locked in early. Cabrera to keep the inning alive.
Cabrera is batting .330 with 18 doubles, eight home runs and 38 RBI over his last 45 games.
Cabrera launches a two out double off the right-center field wall! He is now 11-21 in his career against Shields.
Fielder to the plate. He's hitting .365 with a homer and 23 RBI with RISP this season.
Fielder is hitting .331 with 15 doubles, a triple, seven home runs and 34 RBI over his last 41 games.
The 1-2 to Fielder is outside and away. Shields being careful with the base open at 1st.
Fielder grounds softly to Keppinger at 2nd to strant Cabrera at 2nd. Nice pitch by Shields to escape any damage.
Due Up for Tampa Bay
1. D. Jennings
2. C. Pena
3. B. Upton
Shields looks to have his A stuff here tonight. Let's see if Scherzer can recover from a tough outing last time out.
Jennings was 3-4 in last night’s game but is batting just .187 (17-for-83) in 21 games since being activated from the disabled list on June 5.
1-2 to Jennings, who is hitting in the top spot after being demoted to the 7 hole for the last two games.
The 2-2 just misses in tight. Full count. Good eye by Jennings to take that close fastball on the inside.
Broken bat bouncer to Cabrera, who fires across the diamond to get Jennings byt a step.
Both these teams had to travel yesterday, so we may have advantage pitchers for the 1st few innings or so.
Pena has just 11 hits in his last 94 AB as he swings over top of a sneaky breaking ball from Scherzer. 0-2 to Pena.
Pena with 7 K's in his last 19 AB shows a better eye to run the count full for the 2nd hitter in a row.
Pena sends a bullet to shallow right, but Boesch has him played perfectly and makes the grab for the 2nd out.
Upton on to keep the inning alive. He is just 2 for his last 32 and has 42 SO since May 23 (30 games), the 2nd-highest total in the majors in during that span.
Bad decision making by Upton continues. He green lights on the 3-0 and sends a can of corn to left to end the inning. Brutal!
Due Up for Detroit
5. D. Young
6. A. Avila
7. J. Peralta
FAST FACT: The Tigers scored nine runs last night against Texas, marking the 143rd straight game dating back to July 17, 2011, in which the club has not been shut out.
Delmon Young leads off the 2nd. Young is hitting .284 with nine doubles, four home runs and 18 RBI over his last 40 games.