Kenny Rogers has won more games at Ameriquest Field than any other pitcher. His former teammates will try and stop him from winning another on Sunday.
The 41-year-old lefthander has won 53 career games at Ameriquest field since it opened in 1994. He has had three different stints with the Rangers in a major-league career which began in 1989.
Rogers went 14-8 with a 3.46 ERA for Texas in 2005 and made his second straight All-Star team, but his season was marred by a 13-game suspension after a pregame altercation with photographers.
He took a step toward putting last year behind him on Monday, combining with two relievers on a four-hit, 3-1 victory over the Kansas City Royals in his Tigers debut.
“I really try not to get focused in on all the other outside distractions,” Rogers said. “I just try to do what I’m capable of doing, make the pitches I’m capable of making and do it at the right time.”
The Tigers (5-0) are off to their best start since 1985 when they started the season with six straight wins. The 1984 World Series winning club began its season with a franchise-record nine straight wins.
“I don’t (put) much stock in it,” new manager Jim Leyland said. “I put stock in the fact that these games give us confidence and help us feel better about ourselves. We still have a long hill to climb.”
First baseman Chris Shelton went 3-for-4 with two triples and three RBIs Saturday in Detroit’s 7-0 win over the Rangers, continuing a phenomenal first week of the season.
Shelton is batting .700 (14-for-20) through five games with five home runs, nine RBI and seven runs scored.
Curtis Granderson added a two-run homer in the seventh inning Saturday, increasing Detroit’s major league leading total to 17.
With a win Sunday, the Tigers can earn their first sweep of a four-game series since Aug. 18-21, 1988 at Tiger Stadium against the Chicago White Sox.
Chicago general manager Ken Williams was the White Sox’ center fielder and leadoff hitter in the final game.
The Rangers (1-5) managed just two hits—singles by Phil Nevin and Hank Blalock—against rookie Justin Verlander and two relievers on Saturday. It was just the second time in history that Texas managed just two hits at Ameriquest, along with a 7-1 loss to Anaheim on Sept. 19, 1997.
Vincente Padilla makes his second start of his Rangers career. The 28-year-old righthander, acquired from Philadelphia in a December trade, earned the team’s lone win of the season Tuesday against Boston. He allowed one run on four hits in six innings of work.
“He had an explosive fastball tonight,” catcher Rod Barajas said after that game. “He was playing with it, taking mph off and add some when he needed them. … It was real impressive.”
Padilla has faced the Tigers once in his career, an 11-1 Phillies win on June 7, 2002 at Comerica Park, in which he allowed one run in seven innings for the victory.