Rogers Takes on Tribe

Even getting back to Comerica Park could not wake up the Detroit Tigers' sputtering offense.

Bet on Major League Baseball

Increasingly frustrated manager Jim Leyland hopes that begins to change Saturday, with the Tigers trying to avoid falling into last place as their four-game set against the Cleveland Indians continues.

Oddsmakers from Sportsbook.com have made Cleveland -107 money line favorites (MLB Odds) for tonight's game, the over/under has been set at 9.5 total runs (Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 67% of bets for this game have been placed on Detroit -103 (View MLB Bet Percentages).

Clearly one of baseball's most disappointing teams, Detroit (24-36) has been limited to 10 runs and 23 hits during a four-game losing streak to fall within a half-game of basement-dwelling Kansas City in the AL Central.

A recently completed 3-6 road trip saw the Tigers hit .206 and score two runs or fewer five times, leaving Leyland to say he was "befuddled" by the team's offense. He might have hoped that feeling would start to go away Friday with Detroit opening a 10-game homestand, considering the team was hitting .291 at home while averaging 6.0 runs, compared to a .235 average and 3.6 runs per game on the road.

Instead, Leyland's frustration only continued as the Tigers managed five hits in a 4-2 defeat to the Indians (28-33).

"It's a mystery to me why we can't score runs on a consistent basis," Leyland said. "Saying that I'm shocked by this might be a little strong, but it is pretty close."

The hitting slumps stretch up and down Detroit's lineup.

Curtis Granderson is in a 3-for-25 funk (.120), Edgar Renteria has one hit in his last 18 at-bats and Ivan Rodriguez is mired in a 3-for-31 skid (.097).

Magglio Ordonez has one hit in 14 at-bats during this four-game slide and he's gone homerless with three RBIs in his last 11 games. Fellow slugger Miguel Cabrera is 2-for-14 during the losing streak and has just two home runs since May 1.

A lack of run support cost Detroit's Kenny Rogers (4-4, 5.54 ERA) chances to win his last two outings. The Tigers totaled two runs in those games, though he did not get a decision either time as he allowed two runs in 14 innings.

Rogers, who is facing the Indians for the first time this season, is 2-0 with a 2.39 ERA in his last four starts against them. The left-hander is 17-16 with a 5.12 ERA in 57 career appearances - 34 starts - versus Cleveland.

He will be opposed by Aaron Laffey (3-3, 3.02), looking to bounce back from his worst game as a major leaguer. In his 16th career start and seventh this season, Laffey allowed eight runs and 11 hits - two homers - in five innings of a 13-9 win at Texas on Monday.

The rookie right-hander had given up a total of two home runs over his previous 89 big-league innings, and had never yielded more than five runs or eight hits in any outing. Laffey had posted a 0.79 ERA in five starts in May.

Laffey, who has never faced Detroit, hopes Cleveland's corner infielders can stay hot.

First baseman Ryan Garko homered and scored two runs in Friday's victory, and is 12-for-23 (.522) with eight RBIs in his last five games. Third baseman Casey Blake, who has three homers and 12 RBIs in his last seven games, had a two-run double Friday as the Indians improved to 4-4 on their 11-game road trip.

"This was a good ballgame," Cleveland manager Eric Wedge said. "We stayed focused and we were able to get good at-bats when we needed them."

Did you like this article? Subscribe to our Baseball news feed for the fastest updates delivered right to you - Click here to Subscribe

MLB Top Stories

Thumbnail Cubs vs. Red Sox Pick Who will take the rubber match when the Chicago Cubs take on the Boston Red Sox tonight at 8PM ET in Sunday Night...
Thumbnail Padres vs. Giants Prediction Are the Padres a good bet to upset the Giants again today at 4:05PM ET?
Thumbnail Phillies vs. Dodgers Pick Will the Los Angeles Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies hit the over for a third straight day when they meet up at...
Thumbnail Rockies vs. Diamondbacks Pick Can the Colorado Rockies complete a road sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks when the two meet today at 4:10PM ET?
Thumbnail A's vs. Astros Prediction Will Dallas Keuchel lead the Astros to a win versus the A's today at 2:10PM ET?

MLB Headlines

MLB Team Pages