Winless in his last five starts, rookie Wilfredo Ledezma will be looking to impress Detroit manager Alan Trammell when the major league-worst Tigers resume a three-game series with the defending World Series champion Anaheim Angels at Edison Field.
Ledezma, who caught Trammell’s attention by pitching solidly in the bullpen through the first three months of the season, was brilliant in his first two starts, allowing 11 hits over 12 scoreless innings while pitching the Tigers to a pair of victories in early July.
However, the rail-thin left-hander was pounded for 19 runs and 33 hits over 18 innings in losing each of his next four starts.
“This is definitely frustrating,” Ledezma said after a 9-3 loss to Oakland on Aug. 6. “I tried to challenge the hitters and they hit a couple homers. That’s part of baseball.”
Ledezma had a chance to reverse his fortunes Monday at Texas. He worked in and out of a bases-loaded jam in the first inning, surrendering one run, before a two-hour rain delay forced him to shut it down for the night.
Trammell, who was flirting with putting Ledezma back in the bullpen, indicated that he would give the 22-year-old southpaw at least one more chance.
“It’s just hard to crank it up and go through all the warmup.” Trammell said of his decision not to let Ledezma pitch after the delay. “After cooling down for that period of time, it’s hard to get it back.”
The Tigers, who are threatening to break the 1962 New York Mets’ modern record for major league futility with 120 losses, have lost nine in a row to the Angels, including Friday’s series-opening 3-1 defeat.
Detroit has just one more win than the ’62 Mets managed after 119 games.
Bengie Molina drove in two runs for Anaheim, which has won four of five since dropping eight of nine.
STANDINGS: Tigers - 5th place, 33 GB, AL Central. Angels - 3rd place, 16 GB, AL West.
TIGERS PROBABLE STARTER: Ledezma (3-6, 4.82 ERA). Ledezma has never faced the Angels. He is 1-3 with a 5.63 ERA in 13 appearances, including three starts, on the road this year.
ANGELS PROBABLE STARTER: Aaron Sele (6-9, 4.96 ERA). Sele is 0-3 in his last five starts. He gave up three runs and six hits over 4 1-3 innings in the Angels’ 10-8 win over the Chicago White Sox on Monday. The veteran right-hander has not gone more than six innings in his last 11 starts dating to a 9-2 win at Florida on June 7, when he went a season-high seven. Sele is 10-4 with a 4.09 ERA in 18 career starts against Detroit.
SEASON SERIES: Angels, 1-0.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Tigers - On Friday, Trammell said he was taking rookie RHP Matthew Roney out of the rotation and putting him in the bullpen after six straight losses. The top candidates to start next Tuesday are RHP Shane Loux and RHP Steve Sparks. … 3B Shane Halter is just 3-for-20 (.150) career against RHP Sele. … Detroit is 1-4 on its seven-game road trip. Angels - SS David Eckstein was back in the lineup Friday after missing three games because of tightness in his right hamstring. … OF Anderson is just three hits shy of tying Brian Downing’s franchise record of 1,588. … The Angels are 4-1 on a seven-game homestand.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Tigers - 17-47 on the road; Angels - 35-29 at home.
INJURIES: Tigers - C A.J. Hinch (groin), 15-day DL; INF Eric Munson (thumb), 15-day DL; INF Dean Palmer (shoulder and neck), 60-day DL. Angels - 1B-DH Brad Fullmer (knee), 15-day DL; 3B Troy Glaus (shoulder), 15-day DL; OF Darin Erstad (hamstring), 15-day DL; RHP Matt Wise (elbow), 60-day DL.
Blog Coverage from SB Nation
- NLCS photos: Chan Ho Park celebrates first World Series trip
- Cruz has 2 homers, 7 RBIs as Mariners thump Blue Jays 14-5
- Glasnow exits early, but Pirates rally to beat Phillies 7-4
- Twins C Suzuki takes foul off mask, needs stitches on chin
- D'backs manager Hale warns against teams hitting Segura
- Red Sox analyst Remy struck by monitor as wind causes havoc