07/25/10 6:06 PM ET
Tigers aren't going to find sympathy from Rays
By Bailey Stephens / MLB.com
After losing Carlos Guillen and Magglio Ordonez to the disabled list, Detroit can only look ahead as it treks to Tampa Bay for a four-game series beginning on Monday. The Tigers lost Ordonez to a fractured right ankle on Saturday, and then lost Guillen to a strained right calf just two innings later. Detroit's injury woes were intensified by the concurrent loss of third baseman Brandon Inge, who broke a bone in his hand and went on the disabled list on July 19.
"My heart is broken for Magglio and Carlos, but I have to move on," manager Jim Leyland said. "If I'm sitting here feeling sorry for myself, then the team is going to do the same thing. I'm going to go out and try to pump them up and give them a chance to play."
The Tigers purchased the contracts of corner infielder Jeff Larish and middle infielder Will Rhymes from Triple-A Toledo. Rhymes made his Major League debut -- striking out swinging -- when he pinch-hit in the ninth inning of the first game of Sunday's doubleheader.
The suddenly much-younger Tigers will have enough of a challenge in facing Matt Garza, one of the Rays' front-line starters. Garza had a very rare subpar start last time out against Orioles that saw him allow seven runs over 6 1/3 innings. He knows how vital it is to remain on track for the Rays as they chase the Yanks in the American League East.
"I've got to rebound from my last start," Garza said. "Get going in the right direction again. I've had a weird season and I'm trying to close out these last two months on a high note. I've got to get back in the zone and do what I did in April and May."
Detroit, though, has handled Garza in the past. Tampa Bay's young right-hander is 0-4 with a 5.85 ERA in six career starts against the Tigers. But Garza is plenty rested and geared up for Detroit this time.
"I know I feel good and [know] what I'm capable of doing," he said. "I know what I want to do against the Tigers, so I'm going in prepared and confident, saying, 'Let's go, let's get 'em.'"
Tigers: Road win would be milestone for Scherzer
Detroit starter Max Scherzer will be trying to do something he hasn't done in some time -- win away from Comerica Park. The right-hander -- who was in the Minors from May 16-July 14 -- hasn't won a game on the road since April 18, when he beat the Mariners. But in his past three starts, Scherzer is 2-1 with a 2.37 ERA and 18 strikeouts. In his last start, he tossed a seven-inning shutout at the Rangers to get the win. "He's using his other pitches to go along with that excellent fastball," Leyland said. "The velocity is better. The offspeed pitches are better. The slider is better and the changeup is very good, and he's using them all." With his secondary pitches improved, Scherzer's next goal is to secure that elusive road victory.
Rays: Garza not afraid to walk Cabrera
Miguel Cabrera may have less protection around him in the Tigers' lineup at the moment, but he's been putting up colossal numbers at the plate all season. The Rays definitely have their eyes set on Cabrera, especially Garza. "He's vying for that Triple Crown, and I'm going to try and put up a road block, that's all I can say. Don't try to get him out all the time, just contain him. With Mags [Ordonez] going down, there's less protection there for him. So it's like ... he might be taking that base [walking]. He's a real dangerous hitter, so obviously you have to be cautious. But you can't be too cautious."
Austin Jackson stayed hot in both games of the doubleheader, hitting a triple in each game. ... The Rays are 16-8 against teams from the American League Central this season. ... Detroit released Billy Buckner and designated Casey Fien for assignment. ... B.J. Upton didn't start for the Rays Sunday, but he entered the game as a defensive replacement. ... Tampa Bay closer Rafael Soriano recorded save No. 26 of the season in a 4-2 win over the Indians ... The Rays had lost 18 straight games at Cleveland before Sunday's series finale. Tampa Bay is 33-18 on the road, the best record in the Majors.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.