John Lackey looks for another strong outing Tuesday as he tries to help the Los Angeles Angels extend their season-high winning streak to six games when they open a three-game series with the Detroit Tigers.
Lackey (6-3, 2.43 ERA) won for the fourth time in five starts Wednesday by scattering four hits in six innings of a 5-0 victory at Seattle.
“Every night you need your pitcher to pitch like an ace and John has done that,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “With a little support, he’s going to put the wins up.”
The right-hander, who has a 1.40 ERA in his victories, could get that support Tuesday as the Angels (27-18) have a .304 batting average during their five-game run. Los Angeles has outscored opponents 31-7 during the win streak, and Lackey and the rest of the staff have combined for a 1.40 ERA over that span.
The Angels beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-1 on Sunday to complete a three-game sweep.
“The offensive side, we found some chemistry,” Scioscia said. “On the defensive end, we’re making the plays we have to. The one constant has been the pitching.”
Lackey is 5-0 with a 3.47 ERA in seven starts against Detroit, including three victories at Comerica Park.
Detroit (27-16) will be trying to halt the Angels’ run and win its fourth in a row after completing a three-game sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals over the weekend in a rematch of the 2006 World Series.
The Tigers welcome Mike Maroth (3-0, 4.69) back to the mound after he missed his last start on Thursday with flu-like symptoms. Detroit is 7-0 in games started by the left-hander this season.
Maroth, who has never started a season with four consecutive victories, last pitched on May 11, when he allowed one run and nine hits over 6 2-3 innings of a 7-3 win in Minnesota.
“I think the best thing about Mike Maroth is he competes,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. “He stays within himself and competes.”
Maroth, 2-0 with a 4.42 ERA in three starts at home against Los Angeles, has struggled when facing the Angels’ Garret Anderson, who is 8-for-19 with a home run against the left-hander.
Following this three-game series, Detroit hosts Cleveland for three contests.
“It doesn’t get any easier,” said Tigers first baseman Sean Casey, who went 7-for-13 with four RBIs in three games against the Cardinals. “Those are good teams but we feel like we’re a pretty good team right now, too.”
The Tigers and Angels split a two-game set at Angel Stadium from April 23-24. The Angels got the better of Detroit last season at Comerica Park, winning three of five contests.