The Detroit Tigers will host the Colorado Rockies on Sunday as both teams will be vying for a series win after splitting the first two games in this three-game interleague series at Comerica Park.
After dropping a 12-4 decision in extra innings on Friday, the Tigers got a lift from Doug Fister on Saturday. Pitching in his first game since coming off the disabled list, Fister tossed six scoreless innings and kept the Rockies bats quiet en route to a 4-1 win.
Fister had been out for a month with a strain in his ribcage.
"This is definitely a step in the right direction," said Fister. "I felt no pain, no discomfort today, so it was a good day overall.
Miguel Cabrera led the Tigers on offense, going 2-for-4, including a solo home run, his 14th of the season. The home run also gave Cabrera 53 RBI on the season which is the second best mark in the AL behind the Rangers' Josh Hamilton.
Chirstian Friedrich got pegged with the loss for Colorado, as he surrendered three runs, one of which was unearned, on just three hits. Friedrich walked five batters in the game as well, a season-high for the rookie.
"The walks just are unacceptable," said Friedrich. "That's me just being a little too tentative and feeling like I have to throw a strike instead of just letting me body take care of everything else."
With Fister dealing most of the Colorado lineup didn't pack much of a punch except for Carlos Gonzalez who went 3-for-4 with a run scored in the loss. The Rockies are now 1-10 this season in interleague play.
Making the start for Detroit in the series finale will be the erratic Max Scherzer.The former first-round pick has had periods of dominance this season, but more often than not has struggled.
Scherzer had a decent outing in his last start against the Chicago Cubs, as he allowed three runs on five hits and five walks while striking out eight over six innings of work. However, he didn't factor in the decision and is 5-4 on the season with an ERA of 5.76.
Scherzer has never beaten the Rockies in four career starts, going 0-3 with a 5.48 ERA against them.
Colorado is currently at the bottom of the NL West and a big reason for that is the team's inability to find decent starting pitching. Jeremy Guthrie was brought in this offseason to help alleviate that issue, but the 33-year-old veteran has been no better than any other pitcher to make a start for the Rockies this season.
Guthrie is off to one of the worst starts of his career with a 3-5 record to go with a 6.91 ERA.
Guthrie allowed seven runs on eight hits in an 8-5 loss to Oakland in his last start. It was the fifth straight game he has surrendered at least five runs in a game and the seventh time in 10 starts overall.
These teams also met in a three-game series a season ago with Colorado taking two of three at Coors Field.