With the best road record in baseball, the Detroit Tigers look to continue cruising through NL Central competition when they open a three-game series with the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park on Monday.
Detroit (46-24) won its fifth straight road game Sunday with a 12-3 rout of the Chicago Cubs, completing a weekend sweep and improving to 5-1 in interleague play against the NL Central.
“We came in here prepared,” said Shelton after his third multihomer game of the season. “I think it’s starting to come together that we’re playing well again.”
Detroit has won eight of its last nine overall and 14 of its last 17 road games. The pitching staff has been outstanding on the road with a 26-10 record and a 3.49 ERA, both the best in the majors.
Justin Verlander and Kenny Rogers lead the way with five road wins apiece while Monday’s starter Jeremy Bonderman (6-4, 4.01 ERA) is 4-0 away from home. Rogers won his 200th career game on Sunday, allowing four hits and two runs over eight innings.
“The stars are lining up,” said Jason Grilli, who relieved Rogers in the ninth inning. “It’s a great thing to be a part of. I think it’s something special.”
Bonderman is looking for his first win since June 3 after not receiving a decision in his last two starts. The 23-year-old right-hander had a season-high 12 strikeouts last Wednesday against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, allowing only one run and six hits in eight innings, but did not factor in the decision in Detroit’s 5-1, 12-inning defeat.
“I’m starting to get more comfortable out there. I’m getting better, plain and simple,” Bonderman said. “The more games I pitch the better I’m going to be. I just have to keep working and we’ll see what happens.”
The Brewers (35-35) completed a three-game sweep of the Cleveland Indians on Sunday with a 6-3 victory. Carlos Lee’s second home run of the series—a three-run shot in the ninth inning—broke a tie and lifted Milwaukee to its fifth win in the six games.
After giving up just one run and five hits in the first five innings, he stumbled in the sixth, giving up back-to-back home runs.
“I made two bad pitches,” Davis said. “You just tip your cap and concentrate on the next hitter. As long as they’re solo, they don’t hurt too bad.”
The left-hander is 0-2 with a 3.29 ERA in four career appearances against the Tigers. He last faced them in 2002 when he was with the Texas Rangers, pitching five innings while giving up two runs and six hits in a 2-1 loss.