Doug Fister tries to keep the Detroit Tigers in the win column on Wednesday when they play the middle test of their three-game series with the Tampa Bay Rays at Comerica Park.
Fister enters his start Wednesday on the heels of his best outing of the season. The right-hander scattered four hits and struck out 12 over seven scoreless innings in Pittsburgh on Thursday, but did not factor in the decision of his team's 1-0 loss.
"Terrific, gutty performance," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said after that game.
Fister, who became the first Tigers pitcher since 1916 to strike out 12 or more over seven scoreless innings without earning a victory, is 5-2 on the year with a 3.28 ERA.
He's faced the Rays five times (4 starts) and is 2-2 with a 2.77 ERA.
Tampa, meanwhile, will counter with righty Alex Cobb, who has not pitched since May 26 because of a cracked fingernail on his right middle finger. He's 6-2 this season with a 2.66 ERA.
"I had that itch going when it was supposed to be my turn Friday," said Cobb, who is 2-0 with a 1.71 ERA over his last three starts "(The time off has been) much needed, because I would not have been able to be effective if we didn't take this extra time, so it was a smart move to do it. Now I'm definitely ready to get back out there."
Cobb has faced the Tigers twice and is 0-1 with a 4.09 ERA in those outings.
Detroit won for only the second time in seven tries in Tuesday's opener, as Anibal Sanchez outpitched the previously undefeated Matt Moore to help the Tigers to a 10-1 rout.
Moore (8-1) was trying to become the sixth-youngest starter since 1916 to begin the season 9-0, but surrendered six runs on seven hits and a career high-tying six walks before being pulled with no outs in the third inning.
Prince Fielder led Detroit's offensive surge with a home run and four RBI during a three-hit night, while Omar Infante homered and drove in three in the win.
The production was more than enough as Sanchez (6-5) twirled seven innings of one-run ball while striking out nine and allowing just four hits and a walk.
Detroit beat the Rays in five of the seven meetings last season and is 13-3 in the last 16 matchups.