MLB

Tue, Jun 4, 2013 - 7:08 PM ET
 

Rays-Tigers Preview

Share This Story

   
 

Thanks to a decision by Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon, the pitcher that has been toughest to hit in baseball will get a chance to face the hitter with the best average.

Matt Moore will try to improve to 9-0 as he faces Miguel Cabrera and the Detroit Tigers in Tuesday night's opener of a three-game set at Comerica Park.

Maddon could have used Moore on Sunday in Cleveland after the left-hander was limited to one 11-pitch inning Friday before that outing was cut short due to rain in a 9-2 victory over the Indians. The manager chose to start the budding star Tuesday instead, creating this enticing matchup.

"But there's the off day (Monday), so why really push it?" Maddon told the Rays' official website.

Moore (8-0, 2.18 ERA) is limiting hitters to a .178 average for the best mark in baseball, while reigning AL MVP Cabrera leads the majors with a .367 average and 65 RBIs.

The only time these two met was April 10, 2012. Cabrera lined out once and walked twice as Moore gave up two runs over 6 2-3 innings and did not get a decision in a 5-2 loss in his only career outing versus Detroit.

The Tigers (30-25) have lost seven of 12 games when opponents start left-handers, although Cabrera is hitting .417 against them and Jhonny Peralta .412 for the AL's best marks. Prince Fielder is a .359 hitter versus left-handers and 0 for 2 against Moore.

Strangely, Detroit is searching for offense after losing five of six. Outside of Saturday's 10-3 victory in Baltimore, the Tigers have scored 10 runs in that span.

While Detroit averages 5.2 runs to lead the majors, Tampa Bay (31-25) is not far behind at 5.0. The Rays have been even hotter with a major league-best 6.1 runs per game since May 17 while winning 11 of 16.

"One through nine, we feel pretty good about scoring runs right now," Maddon said.

While top hitters James Loney and Evan Longoria are both batting lower than .255 in this stretch, Matt Joyce is hitting .340 and Kelly Johnson .321 with that duo combining for 28 RBIs over the last 16 games.

"I think there's plenty of talent and potential, but it's nice to see when guys come together as a team and start finding that groove," Johnson said.

Anibal Sanchez (5-5, 2.79), 4-1 with a 1.70 ERA in five home starts, will be tasked with slowing down the Rays. The right-hander is 1-1 with a 4.78 ERA in four career starts against them, although Johnson is 5 for 26 against him.

Sanchez had yielded one run over 15 innings before Pittsburgh scored four times off him in the seventh inning Wednesday in a 5-3 loss. He was charged with five runs total.

"I think I missed some pitches and they hit them," said Sanchez, limiting hitters to a .168 average at Comerica Park. "I take responsibility, that's part of the game."

Detroit is 10-3 against Tampa Bay over the last two seasons, with Cabrera hitting .364 with 11 walks.

Tagged: Tigers, Rays, Miguel Cabrera, Kelly Johnson, Anibal Sanchez

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



MLB Videos

Padres hold off the Dodgers Posted: Jul 12, 2014
Seth Smith talks about the San Diego Padres win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Cardinals rally to overcome 6-run deficit Posted: Jul 12, 2014
Matt Holliday talks about the Cardinals' amazing comeback against the Brewers.

Royals fade to Tigers Posted: Jul 12, 2014
Danny Duffy comments on his pitching performance and the Royals' 2-1 loss.

SimLeague Baseball - Simulation Baseball Game

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike New York Yankees Practice T-Shirt - Ash http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Yankees/browse/featuredproduct/606363/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_606000/ff_606363_xl.jpg&w=100 27.95 Nike New York Yankees Practice T-Shirt - Ash
    Majestic Detroit Tigers 2012 MLB American League Champions Clubhouse Locker Room T-Shirt - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Detroit_Tigers/browse/featuredproduct/1064043/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1064000/ff_1064043_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Majestic Detroit Tigers 2012 MLB American League Champions Clubhouse Locker Room..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room T-Shirt - Gray http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067359/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067359_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker R..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room Pullover Hoodie - Steel http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067382/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067382_xl.jpg&w=100 54.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker R..
    New Era San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room 39THIRTY Flex Hat - Charcoal/Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067785/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067785_xl.jpg&w=100 31.95 New Era San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Ro..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Glory T-Shirt - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1068294/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1068000/ff_1068294_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Glory T-Shirt - Bl..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Batting Practice Performance Jersey - Black/Orange http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1068787/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1068000/ff_1068787_xl.jpg&w=100 94.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Batting Practice P..