The Tigers fired pitching coach Rick Knapp over the weekend, but manager Jim Leyland said Knapp was instrumental in the development of several of Detroit's pitchers. "If you are going to shed some of that blame to Rick Knapp, about the overall staff not doing as well as we expected, you also have to give him credit for [Jose] Valverde and Verlander and [Al] Alburquerque and other guys," Leyland said. Angels: Looking to keep pace with Texas
The Angels moved into a first-place tie with the Rangers on Sunday, the first time they've been at the top of the division since May 27. The Angels have won six of seven and each of their last six series, compiling a 15-6 record in their last 21 games. Abreu entered Monday's game a career .335 hitter against the Tigers, fourth-highest among active players. Worth noting:
The Angels are 51-28 against the Tigers since 2002. If Verlander wins Tuesday, he will become the third Tigers pitcher in 23 years to win eight straight starts, joining Jeremy Bonderman (2007) and Dave Mlicki (1999). Verlander has gone at least six innings in each of his 18 starts this season.