Detroit Tigers, 34-35, 2 1/2 games behind Cleveland, Consecutive Interleague Series Won: 4.
You’re welcome Pirates fans, you’re welcome.
The Tigers head into Pittsburgh to close out an interleague swing that has seem them take series against the Pirates’ division rival Reds and Cardinals. The surprising Pirates are now just 2 games behind Central leading Cincinnati.
The Pirates open the series with the hot hand of A.J. Burnett, who has won 6 consecutive starts, beginning with a 5/19 victory over the Tigers in Detroit.
Doug Fister looks to continue his strong comeback and put Detroit back to the .500 mark. Following his thrilling 10th-inning walk off single, Quintin Berry gets the start in RF in place of the struggling Brennan Boesch. Boesch is 3-7 lifetime against Burnett, but playing Boesch would mean either sitting the Q-Berry, or sitting Young, and apparently we can’t spare his .615 OPS against RHP. Or maybe it’s his glove we can’t spare, I forget.
In other news, Wednesday may have seen Jake Westbrook stymie the Tiger offense, but it was a day to celebrate for Ryan Raburn. On Wednesday Raburn reached his 5-year service time milestone, which means that even though the Tigers still have one more option to send Raburn to Toledo, Raburn can decline to report, which would force the Tigers to either keep him on the roster or release him (and still be on the hook for his salary).
Stat of the Day: Prince Fielder leads all active players with 28 home runs against the Pirates, including 9 at PNC Park.
Today’s Player of the Pre-game: Prince Fielder. See above. And the last time Fielder faced Burnett he hit a 2-run HR–his only non-solo HR of the season.
Today’s Young Jacksonberry Lineup: