(Sports Network) - Andrew Oliver will make his major league debut this evening when the Detroit Tigers open a three-game interleague set against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field.
Oliver will be getting the nod in place of the struggling Rick Porcello, who was recently demoted to Triple-A Toledo. A second round pick a year ago, Oliver was 6-4 with a 3.61 earned run average for Double-A Erie this season.
"We felt Oliver was the best candidate at this time," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "That's what the organization decided, talking with a lot of different people. We didn't see him much [in Spring Training], but he's been pitching good."
Oliver will have his work cut out for him as he faces a Braves team that sits atop the National League East standings and ranks eighth in the majors in runs batted in. Atlanta, though, limps home after being swept in a three-game set by the Chicago White Sox.
On Thursday, Paul Konerko's two-run homer was the difference, as the Braves were shut out, 2-0, at U.S. Cellular Field.
Derek Lowe hurled seven scoreless frames, while Takashi Saito (1-3) gave up the key hit in the eighth to suffer the loss for Atlanta, which last lost three straight during a season-worst nine-game slide from April 21-29.
"We'll regroup. We've got a long homestand that I think everyone is looking forward to. We'll get back to a place where we play very well," said Lowe. "I don't think anyone is leaving here thinking we're a bad team."
Kris Medlen will try to get the Braves back on track, as he attempts to win his fifth consecutive decision. Medlen, who is 4-1 with a 3.33 ERA, did not get a decision on Saturday against Kansas City, which managed four runs (three earned) and five hits in 6 1/3 innings of Atlanta's 5-4 win.
This will be his first start against the Tigers.
Detroit, meanwhile, avoided a sweep of its own on Thursday, as Magglio Ordonez clubbed a two-run homer and Ryan Raburn added a solo blast, lifting the Tigers to a 6-5 win over the New York Mets at Citi Field. Raburn finished 3-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored for the Tigers, who have won nine of 12.
Armando Galarraga (3-1) gave up four runs on five hits and walked three over six innings to record his first win since his infamous near-perfect game on June 2 against Cleveland.
Jose Valverde tossed a 1-2-3 ninth for his 17th save of the year.
"We got the lead and I thought we did a good job hanging onto it. Valverde was tremendous in the last inning," Leyland said.
Detroit swept the Braves the last time these teams met back in 2007 and has won five in a row in the series.