Joe Saunders (6-4, 3.77) vs. Rick Porcello (6-4, 3.70), 1:05 p.m. EST
With their four-game losing streak broken, the Tigers go for the series win over Anaheim this afternoon. And they'll have a familiar face back to help them with that. Marcus Thames returns to Detroit's lineup after missing almost two months with a strained rib cage. For a team in need some power, he's coming back just at the right time. Your team needs you, Marcus. Bring the thunder.
Maybe we can't expect Thames to swing a big stick right away, but this is his time of year. In the month of June, Thames has a .258/.299/.581 average with 22 homers and 47 RBIs in 248 plate appearances. He also has a good history against today's starting pitcher for LAAnaheim. Last May, Thames hit two home runs off Joe Saunders in Anaheim.
Saunders is also coming off his worst performance of the season, giving up six runs and nine hits over 5.1 innings versus Toronto. He's lost three of his past four starts, allowing 16 runs in his last 24.1 innings. In five career appearances against the Tigers, Saunders has an 0-1 record and 5.28 ERA. However, he's pitched quite well at Comerica Park, posting a 2.63 ERA in two starts.
For the Tigers, Rick Porcello saw his five-game winning streak come to an end in his last start, as the Red Sox tagged him for three runs and eight hits in 4.1 innings. He actually didn't pitch that badly, but when he left pitches up in the zone, Boston hitters crushed them. But maybe Porcello just has a problem against AL East teams, as three of his four losses have come against teams from that division. Say, what division do the Angels play in?
Miguel Cabrera is back in the lineup, which should ease any concerns over who would play first base today. And Jim Leyland didn't waste any time in putting Thames right in the heart of the batting order. Here are today's starters:
06/07/09 1:05 PM EDT
|Los Angeles Angels||Detroit Tigers|
|Chone Figgins - 3B||Curtis Granderson - CF|
|Bobby Abreu - RF||Placido Polanco - 2B|
|Vladimir Guerrero - DH||Magglio Ordonez - RF|
|Kendry Morales - 1B||Miguel Cabrera - 1B|
|Juan Rivera - LF||Marcus Thames - DH|
|Gary Matthews - CF||Brandon Inge - 3B|
|Erick Aybar - SS||Ryan Raburn - LF|
|Jeff Mathis - C||Gerald Laird - C|
|Howie Kendrick - 2B||Adam Everett - SS|