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Game 54: Angels at Tigers

Kelvim Escobar (0-0, -.--) vs. Edwin Jackson (5-3, 2.30), 7:05 p.m. EST

Entering tonight on a four-game losing streak and a dwindling first-place lead in the AL Central (now 1.5 games), the Detroit Tigers need a win. And what they really need is to score some runs. Unfortunately, they'll be putting much the same lineup out there tonight as they did last night, with Miguel Cabrera again sitting out to rest his left hamstring.

(That shouldn't surprise anyone who saw Miggy wincing in pain after each swing he took in a pinch-hitting appearance. As Will Carroll wrote in his "Under the Knife" column, hamstring injuries tend to feel much worse the next day.)

Edwin Jackson probably has a good idea of how much run support he can expect tonight, as he got a first-hand look at Justin Verlander getting tagged with a no-decision despite shutting the Angels out for eight innings on Friday. Fortunately for the Tigers, Jackson is capable of giving them the same chance at winning. Last time out, he pitched his best game of the season, holding the Orioles to just two hits over eight scoreless innings, with seven strikeouts and one walk.

Jackson's worst game of the year, however, was in Anaheim against these Angels. In late April, he allowed six runs (three earned) and nine hits - both season highs - and lasted just five innings.

Kelvim Escobar returns to the majors after missing all of last season after surgery for a torn labrum. The last time he pitched was in September of 2007, a season in which he posted an 18-7 record and 3.40 ERA. In nine career starts against the Tigers, he's 8-0 with a 2.30 ERA.

Much of Detroit sports fans' attention will be focused on Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals, which has a "must-win" feeling for the Red Wings. I imagine many in tonight's GameThread will be watching Tigers with one eye, and Red Wings with the other, and the comments will likely reflect that. But I wouldn't be a good SB Nation team player if I didn't remind you that Winging It in Motown will be rockin' the Wings talk tonight.

UPDATE: Here are your starting lineups:


Los Angeles Angels @ Detroit Tigers

06/06/09 7:05 PM EDT

Los Angeles Angels Detroit Tigers
Chone Figgins - 3B Josh Anderson - LF
Bobby Abreu - RF Placido Polanco - 2B
Vladimir Guerrero - DH Clete Thomas - RF
Torii Hunter - CF Magglio Ordonez - DH
Kendry Morales - 1B Curtis Granderson - CF
Juan Rivera - LF Brandon Inge - 3B
Maicer Izturis - SS Jeff Larish - 1B
Mike Napoli - C Gerald Laird - C
Howie Kendrick - 2B Ramon Santiago - SS