Struggling Tigers turn to Porcello against Yankees
(Sports Network) - Rick Porcello will take the mound tonight for the struggling Detroit Tigers as they attempt to come out victorious in the second stage of their three-game series with the New York Yankees at Comerica Park.
Casey Crosby (0-1) only lasted 3 1/3 innings for the Tigers in his MLB debut in the team's 9-4 loss in the series opener on Friday.
"When you bring somebody up, you're prepared for anything as a manager," Detroit skipper Jim Leyland said. "And I was prepared for exactly what happened tonight. I was also prepared for if he gets on a roll and gets some confidence going, he might shut them down pretty good. That's just the way it happened."
Leyland will need to be prepared for anything tonight with the inconsistent Porcello on the hill. The right-hander won two straight starts at the beginning of May with solid outings versus the White Sox and Athletics. However, he has gone 0-2 in his last four starts with an ERA of 5.75 over that span.
Porcello is 2-2 with a 5.56 ERA in four career regular-season starts versus New York. Detroit is in third place in the American League Central Division and trailing the first-place White Sox by six games.
The Tigers' twin rookie outfielders did their best on Friday in the series opener. Quintin Berry went 3-of-5 for the second game in a row and was a home run short of hitting for the cycle in the loss. Delmon Young also had three hits in four at-bats. Prince Fielder extended his hitting streak to nine games and drove in a run and Ramon Santiago belted his first home run of the season.
Detroit, which began its six-game homestand on Friday, will need to get more out of Miguel Cabrera and Brennan Boesch, who went a combined 1-for-9 and left a total of 11 runners on base. Cabrera has hit safely in 32-of-34 games against the Yankees.
Former Tiger Curtis Granderson hit a game-changing grand slam in the second inning to push the Yankees to their second straight win. The center fielder has gone yard three times in four games to give him a team-leading 17 homers and 33 RBI.
"He's been really important for us. He's been a great player," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said about Granderson.
The Yankees' offense was not solely reliant on Granderson. Alex Rodriguez struck out three times but hit a deep home run to left-center in the ninth inning. Derek Jeter comes in with a six-game hitting streak after going 2- for-4 with an RBI and walk on Friday.
New York's impressive offensive display was matched by its ace CC Sabathia (7-2). Sabathia surrendered three earned runs and struck out five during his seven innings of action.
New York is 1 1/2 games back of the American League East-leading Rays, who face off with the second-place Orioles on Saturday. The Yankees are 5-2 on their current nine-game road trip.
Girardi will send out Hiroki Kuroda (4-6) to follow up Sabathia tonight. Kuroda last faced Detroit in 2010 as a member of the Dodgers, a game the Tigers won with Porcello on the mound.
Kuroda held Oakland scoreless for eight innings on Sunday to lower his ERA to 3.96. The victory gave the Japanese right-hander his first road victory of the season.
The Yankees are 3-1 versus Detroit this season.