If the Tigers are going to continue their winning ways, the team must rely on young hurler Rick Porcello, who is winless in his last three starts. Overall on the season, the right-hander has struggled mightily, posting a 3-6 ledger with an atrocious 6.09 earned run average.
Porcello's troubles continued in his recent loss to Chicago, as he allowed eight runs on eight hits in just 3 1/3 innings of work. He will try to bounce back tonight in his first-ever start against Arizona.
The more intriguing pitcher in this matchup is Arizona's Edwin Jackson. Jackson is making his first appearance against the Tigers since posting a 13-9 ledger in 33 starts with Detroit last season.
However, the transition to the National League has not been easy for Jackson, who is just 3-6 with a 5.18 ERA on the year. While his numbers are tough to look at, the righty has pitched much better since the middle of May, but despite his improvements he comes into this matchup looking for his first June decision.
The last time Jackson was on the rubber, he held St. Louis to just two runs in 6 2/3 innings. Jackson surrendered eight hits and walked four batters, but also collected four strikeouts. It was not his best performance, and even though Jackson did not factor in the decision, the Cardinals still grabbed a victory.
On Friday, Brandon Inge's RBI triple in the eighth helped the Tigers take a 7-5 win over Arizona.
Magglio Ordonez hit a two-run home run, Inge finished 3-for-4 with two runs scored and Johnny Damon scored twice for the Tigers, who have won a season- high seven straight games, all against National League opponents.
Armando Galarraga was pulled after 4 1/3 innings as he was charged with four runs on seven hits with two walks and two strikeouts. Phil Coke (5-0) got the win for retiring the final two batters in the eighth.
"It's been a long road for us, especially on the road," said Arizona manager A.J. Hinch. "I'm running out of ways to describe some of these tough ones. We played just well enough to not pull it out."
With the score tied in the eighth, the Tigers took the lead. With one out, Brennan Boesch walked and moved to second on Carlos Guillen's groundout. Inge then launched a triple to deep center and Alex Avila followed with a single for a 7-5 lead.
"It makes you focus when you're at the plate and be selective with the pitch you take cause you don't want to waste an at-bat with a guy in scoring position," said Inge. "I just wanted to make sure I made contact and it worked out."
Jose Valverde set the Diamondbacks down in order in the ninth to pick up his 15th save of the year.