Mike Maroth looks to avoid moving closer to an infamous mark while helping the Detroit Tigers snap a 16-game losing streak to the Minnesota Twins as the teams resume a three-game series at the Metrodome.
Maroth suffered his major league-leading 15th loss of the year in Sunday’s 5-1 loss to Kansas City. Teammate Jeremy Bonderman tied him with Friday’s 10-4 setback as the major league-worst Tigers lost their fifth straight.
Both Maroth and Bonderman are on pace to become the majors’ first 20-game losers since Oakland’s Brian Kingman in 1980.
“I keep telling them, ‘Hey look what you’ve done in some games,’ reminding them on the past good stuff, and that they don’t freak out and try to change everything,” said pitching coach Bob Cluck of Bonderman and Maroth. “Remind them of the good things and even in the worst outing of your year, there’s always something to good to take away from that game.”
Maroth’s lack of success can be directly attributed to his lack of offensive support. The A’s have scored two runs or fewer in nine of his losses.
Maroth’s unsightly record has not discouraged him.
“I’m fine,” Maroth said. “I know I’m better than what my record shows.”
The 25-year-old lefty could have his hands full against the Twins, who have won 16 straight against the Tigers—the longest active streak in the majors.
The Twins have not lost to Detroit since May 5, 2002, and have outscored the Tigers 99-32 in that span. The teams play nine more games this season.
On Friday, Shannon Stewart homered and doubled, and A.J. Pierzynski went 3-for-4 with a double for Minnesota, which has won three straight to pull within 3 1/2 games of first-place Kansas City in the American League Central.
STANDINGS: Tigers - 5th place, 29 GB, AL Central. Twins - 3rd place, 3 1/2 GB, AL Central.
TIGERS PROBABLE STARTER: Maroth (5-15, 5.35 ERA). Maroth is 0-3 with a 5.40 ERA in three career starts against the Twins.
TWINS PROBABLE STARTER: Rick Reed (5-9, 4.81 ERA). Reed gave up just one earned run and six hits in seven innings but did not receive a decision in the Twins’ 3-2 loss to Cleveland on Sunday. He is 3-1 with a 3.08 ERA in seven career starts against Detroit.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Tigers - Dmitri Young, .286 avg., 22 HRs, 59 RBIs and 53 runs; Alex Sanchez, 22 SBs. Twins - Jacque Jones, .310 avg.; Torii Hunter, 18 HRs and 67 RBIs; Stewart, 60 runs; Cristian Guzman, 12 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Twins, 7-0.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Tigers - RF Bobby Higginson went 0-for-3 Friday, snapping a six-game hitting streak. … OF-3B Young, who has a career-high 22 homers, has missed two straight games because of nagging leg injuries. He is expected to be the DH on Saturday. … Detroit is the only team that has not sent a pitcher from its active roster to the disabled list this season. Twins - 2B Luis Rivas is in the midst of a 10-for-22 (.455) streak. … SS Guzman went 2-for-4 Friday, extending his hitting streak to seven games. … OF Stewart had his fifth straight multihit game Friday. He has hit safely in 12 of 14 games since being acquired from Toronto.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Tigers - 15-42 on the road; Twins - 31-26 at home.
INJURIES: Tigers - C A.J. Hinch (groin), 15-day DL; INF Dean Palmer (shoulder, neck), 60-day DL. Twins - 3B Corey Koskie (back), 15-day DL; OF Lew Ford (arm), 15-day DL; RHP Mike Fetters (hamstring), 60-day DL; LHP Eric Milton (knee), 60-day DL.