(Sports Network) - Josh Hamilton's encore campaign came to an abrupt halt at Detroit back in April. The reigning American League MVP will return to the site where he broke his upper right arm this evening in the opener of a three- game series against the Tigers at Comerica Park.
Hamilton suffered the injury on a headfirst slide into home plate during a 5-4 loss on April 12 and was out for almost two months with a non-displaced fracture of the humerus bone at the top of his arm, just below the shoulder. The All-Star outfielder is batting .306 with 13 homers and 58 runs batted in this season, but is hitting .253 (4-for-17) with no homers and four RBI in five matchups with Detroit.
In 27 career games against the Tigers, Hamilton boasts a .275 batting average, four home runs and 17 RBI.
The Rangers could use some pop in this matchup since they have dropped four of six contests already. They did, however, end a four-game slide in the series with a 7-3 triumph on June 8. Even though Texas leads the AL West by two games ahead of the LA Angels, it has still lost seven of 12 games. It dropped two of three meetings at Toronto over the weekend and is coming off Sunday's 7-3 loss at Rogers Centre.
C.J. Wilson didn't get out of the fourth inning and allowed seven runs -- five earned -- and seven hits in 3 2/3 frames. Mike Napoli had two hits and two RBI, while Michael Young finished with two hits, a run scored and an RBI for the Rangers. Yoshinori Tateyama, Arthur Rhodes, Koji Uehara and Scott Feldman held the Blue Jays scoreless the rest of the way for a Texas bullpen that added Padres setup man Mike Adams in exchange for Minor League pitchers Robbie Erlin and Joe Wieland on Sunday.
"We're excited about our club," Rangers GM Jon Daniels said. "We've liked our team all year and we made it pretty clear what area we wanted to upgrade. Koji and Mike were at the top of the list and we were able to acquire both in traditional baseball deals. We gave up four good players, but we got two players that fit an area of need."
Colby Lewis will try to keep the relievers rested when he toes the rubber tonight. Lewis was 5-0 with a 2.22 ERA in seven starts before losing to Minnesota last Wednesday in a 7-2 decision. He was reached for four runs and eight hits over 6 2/3 innings, falling to 10-8 in 21 starts with a 4.00 ERA. The right-hander was hammered by Detroit on June 6 in a 13-7 loss, as he surrendered nine runs and 10 hits in 3 1/3 innings.
Lewis is 2-2 with a 7.23 ERA in five career games, four starts, against the Tigers.
Detroit leads the AL Central by two games over Cleveland and split a four-game series with the Angels this past weekend. Sunday's 3-2 victory in the series finale was a bit interesting with Tigers ace Justin Verlander on the hill for his 15th win. He carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning until Erick Aybar tried to break up the special day with a leadoff bunt in the eighth inning.
Verlander fielded the bunt and tossed an errant shot to first base, putting Aybar into scoring position. Verlander wasn't too pleased with the move.
"I was very surprised," he said. "From a pitching standpoint, that's bush league."
Magglio Ordonez and Carlos Guillen both homered off of Angels starter Jered Weaver, who was tossed after throwing a fastball over the head of Alex Avila in the seventh inning. Weaver was perturbed by the way both Ordonez and Guillen admired their respective homers.
Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta has been irritating visiting pitchers as well, as he's batting .354 with four homers and 11 RBI in his last 19 home games.
Tigers starter Max Scherzer, who gets the nod Tuesday, hasn't enjoyed much luck recently and has lost four of his last six decisions. He previously worked six innings of a 2-1 loss at the Chicago White Sox last Wednesday and allowed two runs and two hits with eight strikeouts and four walks.
Scherzer is 11-6 with a 4.28 ERA in 22 starts and defeated Texas on June 6 despite yielding five runs in five innings.
The righty is 3-0 with a 3.48 ERA in five starts lifetime against Texas. He is one win shy of tying his career-best mark, set last year with the Tigers.