Dodgers in Motown
After being shut out for the fifth time this season, the Dodgers travel to Detroit to open a three-game interleague series with the Tigers on Friday night.
Oddsmakers from Sportsbook.com have made Detroit -133 money line favorites (MLB Odds) for tonight's game, the over/under has been set at 8.5 total runs (Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 80% of bets for this game have been placed on Detroit -133 (View MLB Bet Percentages).
Los Angeles (31-35) hasn't won a series in nearly a month, and has fallen 4 1/2 games behind first-place Arizona in the NL West. A struggling lineup has been largely to blame for the Dodgers' problems.
Los Angeles has lost eight of 12, scoring two runs or less in seven of those games. The Dodgers went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and had five hits in a 9-0 loss to San Diego on Thursday.
"I've been on teams that were far worse than we're at now," Los Angeles second baseman Jeff Kent told the team's official Web site. "The frustration lies within ourselves, only because we have the capacity to play great baseball."
Kent, in a 1-for-13 slump, got the day off Thursday but is expected back in the lineup for the opener of this series.
Kent was playing for Houston when Los Angeles last played a series at Detroit, with the Dodgers winning all three games from June 10-12, 2003. Los Angeles was able to sweep Detroit (29-37) despite scoring just three runs in each contest.
The Dodgers are 5-1 all-time against the Tigers.
Derek Lowe (4-5, 4.15 ERA), who will take the mound for Los Angeles on Friday, is 7-1 with a 1.82 ERA in nine starts and 19 relief appearances against the Tigers, but hasn't faced them since June 2005. The Michigan native has been on the winning team in 23 of the games he has appeared in against Detroit.
The veteran right-hander is 2-1 with a 1.86 ERA in his last four starts overall. He gave up three runs and six hits in seven innings to earn a win as Los Angeles beat the Chicago Cubs 7-3 on Saturday.
Detroit will counter with Armando Galarraga (5-2, 3.70), who allowed two runs and four hits in 5 2-3 innings to earn a 5-2 win over Cleveland on Sunday.
After making eight starts while Dontrelle Willis was injured, the right-hander has moved back into the rotation after Jeremy Bonderman was lost for the season with a blood clot in his pitching shoulder. This will be his first appearance against the Dodgers.
Galarraga will be trying to help the Tigers win their fourth straight, which would match a season high that was set from April 21-24.
"These are still baby steps, but we've taken straight three baby steps," Detroit manager Jim Leyland said after a 2-1 win over the Chicago White Sox on Thursday. "We have to start playing well enough to get people talking about us again."
Miguel Cabrera hit a game-ending solo homer in the bottom of the ninth inning to secure the three-game sweep for the Tigers, but they are eight games behind the AL Central-leading White Sox.
"The standings are always important until you are in first place," Detroit right fielder Magglio Ordonez said. "We've still got to catch them."
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