The Tigers look for another strong outing from the veteran Monday at home against the Toronto Blue Jays—with their starter who’s dominated them over the years—in the makeup of a contest postponed on April 5.
The 42-year-old Rogers (3-2, 4.78 ERA) allowed one run and two hits in five innings—throwing 83 pitches—but didn’t factor in a 2-1, 11-inning victory over the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday in his first start since coming off the disabled list with left elbow inflammation.
“I felt more comfortable on the mound than I expected to,” said Rogers, who is 12-9 with a 3.97 ERA in 27 starts against Toronto.
Rogers’ effectiveness down the stretch could determine if Detroit (77-66) is to reach the playoffs. The reigning AL champions can use a good outing from a starter after Jeremy Bonderman got just four outs in a 14-7 loss to Seattle on Sunday.
“That will be a big plus for us, and we don’t have to worry about that spot,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said of Rogers.
The loss snapped a four-game winning streak and dropped Detroit four games behind the AL wild card-leading New York Yankees. The Tigers are also trying to stay close to the first-place Cleveland Indians in the Central.
“We’ve been playing better, but we haven’t been good enough,” said Magglio Ordonez, whose three RBIs Sunday upped his total to 126. “Hopefully, we’ll be good enough the rest of this month to get back in the playoffs.”
Curtis Granderson went 4-for-4 with a homer, and stole his 20th base to join Willie Mays and Frank “Wildfire” Schulte as the only players in major league history with 20 steals, 20 homers, 20 triples and 20 doubles in a season.
“I’m glad it’s finally over. Now, we have to go ahead and try to get to the playoffs, said Granderson who is 3-for-7 with two double against Toronto’s Monday starter Roy Halladay.
Halladay (14-7, 3.94) will try to avoid losing his third straight decision after allowing five runs and nine hits in eight innings of a 5-3 loss at Boston on Tuesday.
“It’s one of those things that I look back on and I feel I could’ve done better,” Halladay told the Blue Jays’ official Web site.
The right-hander is 0-2 with a 3.71 ERA in four starts since posting a complete game in a 4-1 win over the Los Angeles Angels on Aug. 14. Halladay, though, is 11-2 with a 1.83 ERA in 14 games—13 starts—against the Tigers.
He went 1-0 with a 1.69 ERA in two April starts this season and is 4-1 in six starts at Comerica Park.
Toronto (72-70) will try to avoid losing three in a row after falling 3-2 at Tampa Bay on Sunday, dropping to 2-4 on a road trip that concludes with this game. The Blue Jays begin a nine-game homestand Tuesday.
Aaron Hill homered and had two of the Blue Jays four hits. He is 5-for-10 with five runs scored in his last three games and batting .304 (7-for-23) with two homers against Detroit in 2007.