clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Tigers, Blue Jays Kick Off 4-Game Series In Toronto

(Sports Network) - Coming off a promising series win over the tough New York Yankees, the Detroit Tigers shoot for their fourth consecutive victory tonight in the opener of a four-game set with the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre.

Detroit was mired in a seven-game losing streak before taking the final three tests of its four-game set versus the Yankees at Comerica Park, including Thursday's 6-3 triumph in the series finale. Brennan Boesch collected a pair of hits, including a home run, and three RBI to lead the Tigers.

Rick Porcello evened his 2011 mark at 2-2 by holding New York to two runs on eight hits with three strikeouts over seven innings.

"To take three out of four from a team like that is a big lift, especially after the two series we were coming off of," said Porcello. "We needed these games for sure. Now we gotta keep going."

The Tigers will also visit Minnesota for two games on this upcoming road trip and are winless in their previous three games as the guest.

Phil Coke gets the nod for Detroit tonight and he's only 1-4 with a 4.50 earned run average in seven games (5 starts) this season. Coke is 0-2 with a 7.07 ERA in his last three appearances -- all starts -- and did not record a decision in Sunday's 5-4 loss at Cleveland, as he gave up two runs in six innings.

Coke, a left-hander, recorded his only win of the season on April 14 at Oakland and tossed seven scoreless innings of three-hit ball. He will make his first career start against Toronto and is 1-1 with a 1.17 ERA over the first 10 relief stints.

The Blue Jays are back home following a 10-game road trip in which they compiled a 5-5 mark. They lost four of the last five games on the trek and suffered a 3-1 loss to Tampa Bay in Thursday's finale of a three-game series.

Young Toronto starter Kyle Drabek was saddled with the loss for allowing all three runs during the decisive third inning and lasted 5 2/3 frames, walking four and striking out three batters.

"I just missed a few pitches, here and there, and that was it," Drabek said on the team's website. "I can't be angry at anyone else. I am the one up there with the ball. I wasn't angry, I was just upset about a few little things."

Toronto scored its only runs of the game in the top of the ninth inning, when John McDonald scored on Corey Patterson's groundout.

The Jays will also host Boston for two games and have dropped two straight and three of four games north of the border.

Handling the pitching assignment tonight for Toronto will be Jesse Litsch, who is 2-2 with a 4.60 ERA in five starts. Litsch has dropped two of three trips to the mound and is coming off Sunday's 5-2 setback at Yankee Stadium in which he allowed a season-high five earned runs in six innings.

Litsch has lasted at least six innings in three straight starts and will be making just his second start at Rogers Centre this season. He won his only home appearance on April 6 versus Oakland. The right-hander will make his fourth career start against Detroit and is 0-1 with a 3.44 ERA in the first three in this series.

Detroit and Toronto split eight meetings a season ago, which each ballclub recording a 2-2 mark as the host.