(SportsNetwork.com) - Alfredo Simon goes after a third straight impressive showing on Monday when the Detroit Tigers open a four-game series with the New York Yankees at Comerica Park.
Simon, who was 4-1 with a 1.60 ERA in five starts last April, has been everything the Tigers could have hoped for after acquiring him last winter from the Cincinnati Reds. The right-hander has won both of his starts and has pitched to a 2.03 ERA, while helping the Tigers to league's best mark at 10-2.
"He looks like he's taking a walk in the park when he's pitching, like he's playing catch in the backyard with his son," Detroit manager Brad Ausmus said.
Simon put forth one the best efforts of his career on Wednesday in Pittsburgh, as he scattered two hits over eight scoreless innings.
"The key was attack the hitters and try to get the ball down," Simon said. "The two-seamer worked really well today and all my pitches were great."
Simon has yet to win a decision in three tries against the Yankees and owns a 5.25 ERA in seven games (4 starts) against them.
Detroit bounced back from a nine-run loss on Saturday with a rout of its own on Sunday, as Yoenis Cespedes homered twice and drove in six runs, while Shane Greene continued to dazzle in a 9-1 win.
Greene moved to 3-0 and became the first Tigers pitcher to throw at least seven innings and allow one run or fewer in each of his first three starts since Jack Morris in 1984.
"In the first three starts, I don't think I expected him to be this efficient and throw this many strikes," Ausmus said. "A young guy, I didn't realize he was going to be able to pound the strike zone the way he has. I hope it continues."
New York also picked up a series win on Sunday, as Mark Teixeira and Chase Headley each drove in two runs to lift the Yankees to a 5-3 victory and a three-game sweep of the Tampa Bay Rays.
The Yankees have now won five of their last seven to reach the .500 mark for the first time since they were 1-1.
Michael Pineda (2-0) worked the first 5 2/3 innings for his second win, allowing three runs on seven hits with a walk and five strikeouts. Four New York relievers combined for two-hit relief over the final 3 1/3 innings with Andrew Miller pitching around a leadoff double in the ninth for his fourth save.
"He had to fight through today," said Yankees manager Joe Girardi about Pineda. "He really didn't have his slider today. For whatever reason it wasn't sharp, but he managed to get us pretty far into the game."
New York will hand the ball to lefty CC Sabathia, who is 0-2 with a 5.68 ERA. Sabathia looked better his second time out in Baltimore, but still surrendered four runs and seven hits in seven innings.
"I thought he pitched well," Girardi said. "It's unfortunate that he gave up four runs. I thought he pitched better than that."
Sabathia, who hasn't won a game since beating Boston back on April 24 of last season, has struck out 15 batters in 12 2/3 innings compared to just one walk.
Since joining the Yankees in 2009, Sabathia has gone 6-3 with a 3.36 ERA against the Tigers. However, his 19 wins against them for his career are tied for his most against any opponent (White Sox).
The Yankees were 4-3 against the Tigers last season.