Arizona (27-45) at Detroit (32-39)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Detroit, MI
Temp: 59° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Fri Jun 25, 2004
  • TV: KASW, FSD
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Ivan Rodriguez has been even better than expected for the Detroit Tigers.

Rodriguez looks to continue his strong hitting as the Tigers host the Arizona Diamondbacks for three-games at Comerica Park.

There was some skepticism around the league when Detroit signed Rodriguez to a four-year, $40 million dollar contract in the offseason. The All-Star catcher has justified his high price tag by leading the majors in hitting and making the Tigers competitive again.

Rodriguez had a single, three doubles and four RBIs Thursday to help Detroit stop a five-game losing skid with a 12-3 victory over the Kansas City Royals.

“I just concentrate to put the ball in play and hit the ball hard, try to make good contact,” said Rodriguez, who raised his league-leading average to .373.

The 1999 AL MVP has 10 home runs and 54 RBIs after 64 games. He hit 16 homers and drove in 85 runs en route to helping the Florida Marlins capture the 2003 World Series.

Rodriguez had his fourth four-hit game of the season on Thursday, and is hitting .478 with 10 doubles, three homers and 21 RBIs in his last 23 games.

“When you watch his approach to hitting, you can see why he’s going to go to the Hall of Fame,” Detroit manager Alan Trammell said. “It’s not normal. He doesn’t miss pitches like many hitters do. He centers balls as well as anybody I’ve seen.”

Rodriguez looks to add to his hitting totals against Arizona’s Brandon Webb.

Webb has struggled during his second season after going 10-9 with 172 strikeouts and a 2.84 ERA in 29 games last year. The young sinker baller is 3-7 with a 4.03 ERA after 15 starts this year.

He has just one win in the last two months, going 1-6 with a 6.00 over his last 10 starts.

The Diamondbacks, coming off a 4-3 loss to San Diego on Wednesday, are hoping Webb can turn things around as they try to end their season-high six-game losing streak.

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Starting Pitchers

B. Webb Tex vs. J. Johnson NYY
7-16 Record 8-15
3.59 ERA 5.13
164 K 125
119 BB 60
1.50 WHIP 1.43