Seattle (18-27) at Detroit (17-27)

Cloudy Currently: Detroit, MI
Temp: 79° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Tue May 20, 2008
  • TV: FSNW, FSD
Preview | Box Score | Recap

A surprise lack of offensive production has frustrated the Detroit Tigers early in 2008. It’s been especially tough on staff ace Justin Verlander.

Verlander and the Tigers hope to bounce back from a disappointing road trip when they open a three-game home series against the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night in a matchup of last-place teams.

Detroit (17-27) lost 4-0 at Arizona on Sunday to finish 1-5 on a trip that began by being swept by Kansas City. The Tigers, owners of the AL’s worst record, have lost six of seven and were shut out for the seventh time in 2008.

Despite a lineup of heavy hitters, Detroit was outscored 23-12 on the trip and has scored more than three runs just once in its last seven contests while batting .217 during that span.

“It’s like a broken record,” manager Jim Leyland said. “We just haven’t been swinging the bats. I don’t know what the answer is to this offense. I can’t figure it out.”

Placido Polanco and Edgar Renteria each had two of the Tigers’ seven hits Sunday, but reigning AL batting champ Magglio Ordonez went 0-for-4 and is hitless in his last two games.

Ordonez, who is batting .307, could get back on track Tuesday. He’s 7-for-17 with four doubles against Seattle’s scheduled starter Carlos Silva (3-2, 4.17 ERA).

The Tigers’ bats hope to finally heat up for Verlander (1-7, 6.05), who has already surpassed his loss total from last season when he went 18-6.

Verlander allowed two runs and six hits over six innings, but lost his fourth straight start in a 2-0 defeat at Kansas City on Wednesday. It marked the seventh time in Verlander’s nine starts that the Tigers have scored two runs or fewer.

“It’s tough to win,” Verlander said. “When we score we don’t pitch, and when we pitch we don’t hit.”

The right-hander is 4-0 with a 2.63 ERA in four starts against Seattle, which went 2-4 at Comerica Park in 2007 and is 7-14 on the road this season.

The Mariners (18-27) head into this contest looking to win three in a row for the first time since April 15-17.

Jose Lopez’s two-out, two-run double in the bottom of the eighth inning helped Seattle rally for a 3-2 home victory over San Diego on Sunday. The Mariners won their first series since sweeping a two-game set at Oakland from April 16-17.

Lopez is batting .307 on the season and .353 with seven RBIs in his last 13 contests.

“He’s coming to play and he’s having fun,” Seattle manager John McLaren said of the second baseman. “He’s been our best player here from spring training to today.”

Silva looks to avoid losing his third straight decision as he is expected to take the ball Tuesday after leaving his most recent start with mild lower back stiffness. He allowed two runs and five hits in 6 1-3 innings of a 4-3 12-inning victory at Texas on Wednesday.

The right-hander has won his last two outings against Detroit - both last season while with Minnesota - and is 5-3 with a 4.46 ERA in 11 starts versus the Tigers.

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Starting Pitchers

C. Silva Bos vs. J. Verlander Det
4-15 Record 11-17
6.46 ERA 4.84
69 K 163
32 BB 87
1.60 WHIP 1.40

Scoreboard

Tuesday, May 20