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Game 75: Tigers at Astros

Edwin Jackson (6-4, 2.40) vs. Russ Ortiz (3-3, 3.47), 2:05 p.m. EST

After losing the first two games of this weekend's series in Houston, the Tigers try to salvage a win this afternoon. Detroit has lost six of its last seven road games, with trips to Oakland and Minnesota coming this week.

Before his past two starts, the Astros' Russ Ortiz put together a streak of 17.2 straight innings without giving up a run. In his two outings since then, he's allowed five earned runs in 13 innings. Giving up the longball might have something to do with that, as Ortiz has served up three in those two games. Before that, he'd gone seven starts without allowing a home run. In 12 appearances at home this season, Ortiz is 3-3 with a 3.21 ERA.

Edwin Jackson is winless in his last three starts for the Tigers, which just doesn't seem right, considering he's allowed fewer than three runs in each of those outings. It might help if his lineup scored more than three runs for him, which Detroit hasn't done in his last six appearances. (Though the Tigers did eventually put up five runs in Jackson's last start, rallying after he'd left the game.)

Jackson's control was a bit off against the Cubs, as he issued four walks. (Apparently, getting a handle on his slider was something of an issue.) But he hasn't had back-to-back games with high walk totals, so if he follows that pattern, he should be sharp today. Jackson is 3-3 on the road this year, with a 1.89 ERA in eight starts.

Magglio Ordonez is back in the lineup, after getting last night off. So is Gerald Laird, whose back spasms apparently cleared up.