James Shields (8-10, 3.81) vs. Jarrod Washburn (9-7, 3.23), 1:05 p.m. EST
Why a day game on a Monday? This is the first weekend series at Comerica Park to go into a Monday, and the best guess (by Kurt, not me) is that the Rays needed an early getaway time to get back to Tampa. They begin a series with the Red Sox on Tuesday.
Over his past two starts, James Shields has looked more like the pitcher who won 14 games last year. He's allowed four earned runs in his last 12.1 innings. Apparently, regaining the feel for his change-up has been the big difference. Shields has never lost to the Tigers, compiling a 2-0 record and 2.31 ERA in four starts. He's even better at Detroit, where he's 1-0 with a 1.13 ERA in two appearances.
Jarrod Washburn got his first win as a Tiger in his last start, but it didn't come easy. However, there's something to be said for perseverance. Washburn fell behind early, serving up a three-run homer to Howie Kendrick, but settled down to give the Tigers four more innings and got a win for his effort.
He faced Tampa earlier this season, holding them to two runs and five hits over seven innings at Seattle. That put his career record versus the Rays to 12-3 with a 2.59 ERA.