Down a game in the series, Detroit (27-16, 1st place Central, 2nd place AL) is back at it against Texas (23-24, 3rd place West, 10th place AL), with Anibal Sanchez (who has fared poorly v. the Rangers) facing Scott Baker.
Reliever Corey Knebel is called up from Toledo – talk about a fast track to the majors – while starter Robbie Ray returns there to work on his curveball. Luke Putkonen (on the DL) will not require surgery, but the rehab path looks to be slow and uncertain for him. Meanwhile, injury-riddled Texas has been dealt a couple more blows with the loss of Prince Fielder for the season and the same possibility facing them regarding Jurickson Profar, not to mention OF David Robertson’s injury Thursday.
The silver lining in Thursday’s 9-2 drubbing by the Rangers would seem to be the revelation of Danny Worth’s knuckleball. A clean inning from any Tigers pitcher is something of a novelty these days, so welcome to the pen, Danny. Four straight losses and four straight collapses of the team’s greatest strength leave you wondering how long this can go on. Rough stretch, but 6-4 on a rollercoaster still beats a 5-5 of one step forward, one step back, doesn’t it? That six-game ride was fun. Let’s get back there.