Published November 20, 2014
Hard-throwing righty Matt Garza can make it two straight for the Chicago Cubs against the Detroit Tigers tonight, when the teams meet in game two of a three-game interleague series at Wrigley Field.
The Cubs won Tuesday's opener, 4-3, ending a seven-game losing streak against the Tigers that stretched back to July 7, 2001, when Jon Lieber beat Willy Blair, 10-6, in the middle game of a three-game series in Detroit.
The Tigers won the final game of that series and subsequent swept three-game matchups in 2006 and 2009.
On Tuesday, Detroit twice looked to be out of trouble in the eighth inning, but shortstop Jhonny Peralta threw high to second base on a force attempt and wide to first base on another grounder, letting the decisive run score after the Tigers had tied the game with a three-run seventh.
Chicago won its second in a row - and third in its last 11 - while the Tigers had a two-game winning streak snapped.
Darwin Barney started the Cubs' rally by drawing one of seven walks in the game. Pinch-hitter Reed Johnson singled with two outs and Phil Coke (1-3) got Tony Campana to ground to Peralta, but his throw sailed high and Ramon Santiago didn't step cleanly on the bag at second.
Starlin Castro was then safe on a bouncer to Peralta when first baseman Prince Fielder was pulled off the bag by the throw, scoring Barney for the go-ahead run.
On Wednesday, the 28-year-old Garza aims for his second career win against the Tigers and his first win this season since April 29.
The California native struck out 10 and allowed a hit in seven scoreless innings of a 5-1 defeat of Philadelphia in that game, but is 0-3 in six starts since while his earned run average has swelled from 2.67 to 3.99.
He went six innings and gave up two runs on four hits in his last outing on June 7, in the Cubs' 4-3 loss at Milwaukee.
Chicago has lost the last six games he's pitched and eight of 11 overall.
Detroit righty Rick Porcello also seeks a win to snap a six-start winless drought.
The 23-year-old is 0-2 with four decisions since May 6, when he allowed four hits and a run in 6 1/3 innings of a 3-1 defeat of the Chicago White Sox.
The New Jersey native's ERA has climbed from 4.91 to 5.03 since that triumph, though the Tigers have won two of the six subsequent outings.
Porcello got a no-decision in his lone career meeting with Chicago on June 24, 2009, when he pitched five innings and allowed two runs on seven hits in a 5-3 Detroit win.