The Detroit Tigers are showing the NL what the AL has already figured out— that they have developed into a serious playoff contender.
Owners of the best record in baseball, the Tigers look to sweep their second straight NL opponent when their three-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers wraps up at Miller Park on Wednesday.
Detroit (48-24) has won six in a row, with the last five victories coming against the NL. They improved to 7-1 in interleague play with Tuesday’s 10-1 win over the Brewers (35-37).
Magglio Ordonez hit two of the Tigers’ four home runs Tuesday, giving the club 12 in the last three games. Detroit leads the majors with 67 home runs away from home and is a major-league best 28-10 on the road—five wins better than any other team.
The Tigers are batting .302 and averaging 7.5 runs during their winning streak. Ordonez is 10-for-25 (.400) with nine RBIs in that span.
Nate Robertson (7-3, 3.43 ERA) looks to win his third straight start for the first time since Aug. 20-30, 2004 when he takes the mound Wednesday. He’s 6-1 with a 2.63 ERA in 11 starts since April 22.
The left-hander allowed two runs in seven innings of a 5-3 win over the Chicago Cubs on Friday.
“He’s pitching with more confidence,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. “He shows me something more and more each time. I think he’s getting a confidence about him and an aggressiveness about him, but with common sense. He used all his pitches. He didn’t have his slider early, but he got it later.”
Robertson is 1-0 in two interleague starts this season, allowing two runs and eight hits in 14 1-3 innings. The five-year veteran, 2-2 with a 3.17 ERA in eight interleague starts, has never faced the Brewers.
Milwaukee swept Cleveland over the weekend, but has only nine hits in the two losses to Detroit.
Brewers left fielder Carlos Lee, the team leader with 23 homers and 58 RBIs, is 0-for-6 in this series. He has not gone hitless in three straight games all season.
The Brewers hope that Chris Capuano can cool off the red-hot Tigers lineup Wednesday as he looks to continue his success at Miller Park. He’ll be making his first career start against Detroit.
Capuano (7-4, 3.30) allowed two runs and struck out a career-high 12 while walking none in seven innings of a 6-4 home win over the Indians on Friday.
“I’m grateful that I’ve been able to be consistent this year,” Capuano said. “It’s a nice feeling when you come out of the game and the team is in the game and you got a chance to win.”
The left-hander is 5-1 with a 2.87 ERA in eight home starts this season. His only loss at home came against Arizona on April 9, when he allowed four runs in 6 1-3 innings of a 7-0 defeat.
Capuano has pitched at least six innings in all 15 of his starts, and leads the majors with 14 quality starts.
The four-year veteran is 4-2 with a 3.38 ERA in seven career interleague starts and has won his last four, including two this season, posting a 1.75 ERA in those games.