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Game 77: Tigers at Athletics

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Armando Galarraga (4-7, 5.65) vs. Gio Gonzalez (0-1, 8.03), 10:05 p.m. EST

The Detroit Tigers got this series off to a bad start, striking out 14 times in a 7-1 loss to the Oakland A's. Can they rebound tonight? Or will they inexplicably make yet another mediocre starting pitcher look good?

In his first start since being called back up from Triple-A Sacramento, Gio Gonzalez was pummeled by the Giants for six runs (four earned) and 10 hits in just 3.2 innings. He did rack up six strikeouts, however. Gonzalez faced Detroit last September at Comerica Park, giving up nine runs (eight earned) in just 1.2 innings. (Maybe you remember him giving up the 250,000th home run in major league history to Gary Sheffield, one of three longballs he served up that night.) That gives him a 43.20 against the Tigers.

Armando Galarraga finally ended his long national nightmare, a 10-game losing streak, with a win over the Chicago Cubs in his last start. He still allowed more runs than you might like to see, with four in six innings (falling behind 3-0 in the first), but the Tigers' lineup pushed him over the hump with six runs. (Two of those came on what's become an all-too-rare homer by Magglio Ordonez.) Galarraga also racked up five strikeouts, his highest total since April.

But his last start against the A's was a disaster. Galarraga couldn't even make it out of the first inning, giving up five runs, four hits and three walks. The Tigers rallied to win the game, in one of their more stirring comebacks of the season, but there was no bailing out Galarraga after that performance.

Detroit's lineup looks almost the same last night, except for Dusty Ryan getting the start at catcher. And if you're a Nomar Garciaparra fan, he's the designated hitter for Oakland tonight.