The Tigers travel to
Metrodump South Tropicana Field as they open a four game set against the Tampa Bay Rays, who I’m told play the game the right way (as well as with copious amounts of pine tar). Lineups after the jump.
A few notes: the Rays are reeling, having just been swept at Kansas City, but they have their top two starters going in the first two games in James Shields and David Price. Tonight, the Tigers counter Shields with Max Scherzer, coming off a start at Pittsburgh that really only saw him make one mistake, which Andrew McCutchen turned into a three-run homer that was enough to break the Tigers’ backs.
From the game notes: Scherzer has registered a quality start in each of his last three road starts. He has never beaten the Rays in his career, but has a 3.06 ERA in three starts against them.
Several Tigers have had some success against Shields: Miguel Cabrera is 10-for-22 (.455) against him with a homer, Jhonny Peralta is 9-for-19 (.474) with three homers, and Ramon Santiago is 5-for-15 (.333). On the other hand, Brennan Boesch is 0-for-7 against him, Austin Jackson 1-for-8, and Delmon Young 1-for-10.
The Rays activated noted Tiger killer Luke Scott from the DL today, just in time for this series. Bless them for that.
Finally, the Tigers are 7-4 on Thursdays this year. Hope springs eternal!