05/23/10 2:13 AM ET
Dodgers not offering Tigers much hospitality
By Jesse Sanchez / MLB.com
So far, the Dodgers have greeted their American League visitors with solid pitching, strong bats and if all goes according to the Dodgers' plans on Sunday in the series finale, they'll bring out the brooms for the sweep.
The Dodgers topped the Tigers, 6-4, on Saturday.
"We're trying to win each game, that's the most important thing. It'd be a great way to go on this [upcoming] road trip," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. "This ballclub that came in here, they're a first-place team when they came in here. Every time when you go out there and play, especially when you're playing the other league, you sort of measure yourself, see if you can handle the challenge."
"But again, that's how you sort of compare, and you win two games against this ballclub, it does a lot for your confidence," he continued. "You go out there and win it with a youngster [John Ely] like we did, that's important."
The Dodgers have two sweeps this season. It's going to be up to Tigers starter Rick Porcello and Co. to keep them from picking up their third.
Porcello has used his sinker for 24 groundouts over his past two starts, but unlike in his seven scoreless innings against the Yankees, the White Sox managed to turn one extra-base hit and seven singles into four runs and another loss. He has only one quality start in his past six outings and just two all season.
That said, he went 3-0 with a 1.90 ERA in four starts against the National League last season. The Dodgers will send Hiroki Kuroda to the mound.
"I think Rick Porcello is trying to figure out the happy medium between throwing his sinker too hard or too slow," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "He's a guy that has to use all his pitches a little bit more, in my opinion. [He's been doing that] a little bit, but against the White Sox the other day, he was just strong. He was throwing the ball up all the time. He was throwing high sinkers, and high sinkers get the stuff knocked out of them. He made a couple terrible pitches. As that game went on against the White Sox, he actually got a little bit better, but he wasn't quite as hard."
"I think the other thing with Rick Porcello is he looks to me like he's still growing," Leyland continued. "He looks taller every time I see him. I don't know that, I'm just saying. I saw him the other day and he was towering over [Justin] Verlander."
Dodgers: Martin's hitting streak snapped
Russell Martin went 0-for-3 with a walk Saturday to snap his career-high 15-game hitting streak. Martin tied Detroit's Johnny Damon for the second-longest hitting streak in the Majors this year behind Florida's Jorge Cantu's Major League-best 17-game streak. ... Matt Kemp leads the Majors with 38 runs scored in 43 games.
Tigers: Outfielder Jackson on mend
Austin Jackson, who was hit in the helmet by a pitch Saturday when he made an appearance as pinch-hitter, was taken to a local hospital for precautionary tests and will not return to action Sunday. Jackson's absence from the starting lineup Saturday put Damon in center fielder for the first time as a starter since 2008. Jackson had only been out of the starting lineup three games all season. Sunday will mark the fourth time.
Porcello allowed five earned runs over 23 2/3 innings in his four Interleague starts last season. He drove in two runs against the Pirates to help his own cause last June but has never won in the state of California. In fact, he has never even gotten a no-decision in the Golden State, going a combined 0-3 in three career starts at Anaheim and Oakland.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.