A big night at the plate led to a successful start for the Detroit Tigers’ on their brief four-game road trip. To keep that success going, they’ll need to find a way to beat a pitcher who has dominated the club through the years.
Detroit (11-8) pounded out 12 hits in a 9-5 win on Monday, its second straight over the Angels and third in a row overall. Another big offensive outburst could be tougher against Escobar (1-1, 3.18 ERA), who is 8-0 with a 2.10 ERA in 19 career games - eight starts - against the Tigers.
Escobar won his only start against Detroit last season, allowing an unearned run and two hits in eight innings of a 2-1 win at Detroit on Sept. 3.
Escobar is scheduled to return to the mound after being placed on the disabled list on April 13 with right shoulder irritation.
“Kelvim is ready to go,” Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia told the Angels’ official web site.
In his most recent start, the right-hander allowed two runs and eight hits in six innings but the Angels lost 2-1 to Oakland on April 8.
Detroit’s Curtis Granderson went 3-for-5 with a leadoff homer and was a triple short of the cycle Monday. Magglio Ordonez went 3-for-4 with three runs scored. Carlos Guillen and Ivan Rodriguez each added two hits and drove in two runs, while Gary Sheffield had two hits in a game for the first time since April 7.
Ordonez is 9-for-20 with eight RBIs while Guillen is 8-for-20 with eight RBIs in their last five games.
The Tigers scored seven runs in the first two innings, chasing Los Angeles starter Jered Weaver after just 1 2-3 innings.
“When you haven’t seen a guy like that before, you’ve just got to be selective. And basically, that’s what we did,” Rodriguez said.
Detroit’s Jeremy Bonderman (0-0, 2.25 ERA) tries again for his first win of 2007. The Tigers have scored 10 runs and are 1-3 in games the right-hander has started. Bonderman has allowed one run in each of his last two starts, and also gave up three hits in seven innings of Detroit’s 4-3 loss to Kansas City on Wednesday.
“It definitely bothers me,” said Bonderman, 14-8 last season. “I want to win. I’m not satisfied with just going out and throwing. In my starts, we’re 1-3 and that’s not getting it done.”
Bonderman is 2-2 with a 3.55 ERA in six starts against the Angels (9-10).
Gary Matthews Jr. and Garret Anderson each went 2-for-5 for the Angels on Monday, who had their three-game winning streak snapped. Matthews hit his first homer with Los Angeles, after hitting a career 19 with Texas in 2006.
Matthews has started to swing the bat better recently, going 6-for-14 with three RBIs in his last three games to raise his average to .257.