Jeff Kent just can’t seem to make an out lately.
He went 4-for-4 with four RBIs as Los Angeles posted a 10-6 win over Milwaukee on Sunday. He has hit safely in seven straight at-bats, two shy of Ron Cey’s Los Angeles team record.
Cey had nine straight hits from July 2-4, 1977. The franchise record is held by Edward Konetchy, who had 10 straight hits from June 28-July 1, 1919 with Brooklyn.
Kent hopes that his recent success can carry over into the latest round of interleague action. The second baseman was hitless in 12 at-bats against the Los Angeles Angels from May 20-22.
Last season, Kent hit just .192 (5-for-26) in eight interleague games.
Kent leads Los Angeles in homers (11), RBIs (44) and runs (39) and has seen his role become even more important since center fielder Milton Bradley was placed on the disabled list on Friday. He is hitting .692 (9-for-13) in three games since the Dodgers learned the news about Bradley, who normally bats fifth behind Kent.
“Teams have scouting reports. And if teams know that we’re hitting well in our whole group of guys, then it really doesn’t matter who’s hitting behind whoever,” Kent said. “I mean, it might in a certain situation—but if we can prove to other teams that we’re hitting well, then that puts the pressure on the other team to make quality pitches.”
Los Angeles won three out of four in the series against Milwaukee, capturing a series at home for the first time since dropping five straight. The Dodgers have won just eight of their last 19 home games.
Starter Derek Lowe will be facing an opponent he has dominated in the past. The Michigan native is 6-1 with a 1.88 ERA against the Tigers in 27 career appearances, including eight starts.
The 1.88 ERA represents his lowest against any AL opponent.
The veteran right-hander was tagged for six runs and a season-high 13 hits over 5 2-3 innings in a 9-5 loss to the Chicago Cubs last Wednesday. It was a frustrating night for Lowe, who sustained a small cut on his right wrist while throwing a stool in anger in the dugout after the Cubs scored four runs in the second inning.
“I just pitched as poor a game as I have in a long time,” Lowe said. “There were a lot of things I could have done better tonight. I pitched really poorly.”
Detroit wasted a big effort from Dmitri Young in a 6-2 loss to Baltimore on Sunday. Young fell a triple short of the cycle, including a two-run homer in the first inning that accounted for all of the Tigers’ offense.
The sloppy Tigers have lost two straight, committing five errors that have led to seven unearned runs in the process.
“These two games, we’ve done our share to help,” Detroit manager Alan Trammell said. “That never sits well, but we’ve been playing hard. We have to move on.”
Los Angeles swept a three-game series at Comerica Park from June 10-12, 2003 in the only previous meetings between the teams.