Published September 05, 2014
Detroit's Rick Porcello attempts to become the American League's first 16-game winner on Friday when the Tigers welcome the San Francisco Giants to Comerica Park for the start of a three-game series.
Often overlooked on a staff that includes three former AL Cy Young Award winners, Porcello is in the midst of a career year, going 15-9 with a 3.10 ERA.
However, the right-hander wasn't particularly sharp on Sunday in Chicago, as he fell for the fourth time in six starts, surrendering six runs (3 earned) and 11 hits in 6 2/3 innings.
"It's baseball. You pitch through whatever you're going through," Porcello said. "I mean, if I'm out there giving up doubles in the gap, you regroup and keep battling. It's the same thing. It's not always going to go smoothly for us, and we need to find a way to reach down and at the very least show some heart."
Detroit won for the third time in four tries on Thursday, as it managed seven runs in the 11th inning to get past Cleveland, 11-4. Victor Martinez belted a three-run homer in the decisive frame for the Tigers, who pulled within one game of Kansas City for first place in the AL Central.
"Every win is special at this point of the season, but this one took a little more work, so it feels pretty nice," Detroit third baseman Nick Castellanos said.
San Francisco, meanwhile, had been one of the hotter teams in the league until a series loss to Colorado this week that culminated with a 9-2 loss on Wednesday. Buster Posey drove in both runs and Gregor Blanco scored twice and tripled for the Giants, which had won six in a row before visiting Coors Field.
Starter Ryan Vogelsong (8-10) was reached for eight runs on 10 hits over five- plus innings in the loss.
"It's an adventure out there," said Vogelsong. "The ball flies, especially during the day. Every bloop shot falls in because the (outfield) plays deep. Their infield grass is really quick so it seems like a lot of ground balls get through that normally don't."
San Francisco is two games back of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West.
Getting the call for the Giants on Friday will be righty Jake Peavy, who flirted with a no-hitter his last time out and is 3-1 with a 1.26 ERA over his last four starts. He's also thrown at least seven innings in four straight outings for the first time since June 30-July 20, 2012.
Peavy carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning on Saturday against Milwaukee and ended up allowing just one hit over 7 2/3 scoreless innings. He is 3-4 with a 2.66 ERA since being acquired from Boston.
"I've found a groove over here with Rags (pitching coach Dave Righetti), (bullpen catcher) Billy Hayes and Gardy (bullpen coach Mark Gardner)," said Peavy after the start. "These guys saw me when I was young and have been able to throw some of those remarks and coaching tips back at me.
"We've found a rhythm here."
The is the Giants first visit to Comerica Park since sweeping the Tigers in the 2012 World Series.