The Giants began play in 1883, and the Tigers in 1901, but this is the clubs’ first meeting.
Kirk Rueter, San Francisco’s scheduled starter, has as many wins—six—as the Detroit starters for the entire series.
Rueter will be looking for his fifth straight win after allowing seven hits in 7 1-3 innings of the Giants’ 4-0 victory over Colorado on Sunday. He is 4-0 with a 3.32 ERA in his last six starts.
“It’s going to be fun to see how they coach against us,” Tigers catcher Brandon Inge said.
Detroit manager Alan Trammell, who saw San Francisco slugger Barry Bonds up close in three years as a coach with San Diego, said he’d follow the common approach of pitching around Bonds.
“We’re going to make someone else beat us,” Trammell said. “I’m not going to say I would never change, but at this point in my career I believe that a veteran guy with his track record I would try to do everything in my power to not let him beat me. And Bonds certainly is at the top of the list.”
San Francisco is coming off a 5-2 loss to Minnesota in the finale of their interleague series. J.T. Snow became just the third Giant to record a splash hit into McCovey Cove, the body of water just beyond right field.
“It’s meaningless because we lost,” Snow said.
The Tigers won their first two games at San Diego before dropping the finale 5-1 on Thursday and failing in their bid for their second sweep of the season. After pushing the Padres into the worst record in baseball, Detroit reclaimed that distinction.
Tigers rookie Jeremy Bonderman makes his second straight start against a top team. He struggled mightily in the spotlight Sunday against Roger Clemens and the New York Yankees, but escaped without a decision when the Tigers came back from a 7-1 deficit to tie the game before eventually losing in 17 innings.
STANDINGS: Tigers - 5th place, 16 GB, AL Central. Giants - 1st place, NL West.
TIGERS PROBABLE STARTER: Bonderman (2-7, 5.61 ERA). The right-hander is making his first interleague start. Bonderman is 1-3 with a 3.51 ERA in four road starts.
GIANTS PROBABLE STARTER: Rueter (6-1, 3.33 ERA). Rueter is 11-4 in 19 career interleague starts. He is 20-17 with a 3.38 ERA in 54 starts at Pacific Bell Park.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Tigers - Dmitri Young, .278 avg., 11 HRs and 36 RBIs; Bobby Higginson, 30 runs; Alex Sanchez, 9 SBs. Giants - Marquis Grissom, .312 avg. and 6 SBs; Bonds, 14 HRs and 38 runs; Benito Santiago, 36 RBIs.
INTERLEAGUE RECORDS: Tigers - 2-1; Giants - 1-2.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Tigers - 1B Carlos Pena was placed on the 15-day DL, retroactive to Monday, with a strained left hamstring. To replace him on the roster, Detroit bought the contract of INF Warren Morris from Triple-A Toledo and moved 3B Dean Palmer from the 15-to the 60-day DL. … The Tigers’ only sweep of the year was at Baltimore May 5-7. … INF Young is 4-for-14 with two RBIs against LHP Rueter. Giants - Of the 25 previous balls hit into McCovey Cove by Giants players, OF Bonds had 23 of them and INF Felipe Crespo had two. … 1B Snow has 23 home runs and 72 RBIs in 77 interleague games. … RHP Jerome Williams, who left Wednesday night’s game early with a tender left ankle, is expected to make his next scheduled start on Tuesday against the White Sox in Chicago.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Tigers - 11-20 on the road; Giants - 18-13 at home.