The Detroit Tigers opened 2008 without any kind of home-field advantage, as they went without a victory at Comerica Park until the third week of the season. Two months later, they appear to have straightened things out at home.
The Tigers look to extend their season-high winning streak to six games Sunday when they conclude their 10-game homestand against the Los Angeles Dodgers, who look to avoid matching a season-high five-game losing streak.
Detroit (31-37) opened the season 0-6 at Comerica Park, and didn’t win its first home game until April 14. The Tigers began their current homestand tied with Colorado for the fifth-worst home record in the majors at 12-14, but have won five straight and seven of nine.
Cabrera is 8-for-19 (.421) with two homers, two doubles and five RBIs during the winning streak, and is hitting .389 (14-for-36) with five home runs and 13 RBIs in his last 10 games against Los Angeles.
Thames, who also homered in Friday’s 5-0 series-opening win, has four home runs in his last seven games.
“Marcus is a two-run homer, three-run homer waiting to happen,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said.
Nate Robertson (4-6, 5.88 ERA) looks to help Detroit extend its winning streak when he takes the ball in the series finale.
Robertson allowed three runs and eight hits in 6 1-3 innings to earn a 6-4 win over the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday. The left-hander is 3-1 with a 5.47 ERA in his last four starts after going 1-5 with a 6.08 ERA in his first nine starts of the year.
Robertson has won his last two starts at Comerica Park, and has been tough on NL opponents at home in his career. He has allowed just two runs in 19 1-3 innings over his last three home interleague starts, and is 3-1 with a 1.54 ERA in six career starts at Comerica Park versus NL teams.
In his only career start against Los Angeles on June 7, 2005, Robertson allowed four runs, five hits and four walks in five innings of an 8-4 victory at Dodger Stadium, but was not a factor in the decision.
The Dodgers have lost four straight and 16 of their last 22. Los Angeles, which scored a total of one run in its previous three games, lost a season-high five straight games from May 7-13.
“We finally put up some runs, but they put up more,” said catcher Russell Martin, who is batting .244 (10-for-41) with a homer and six RBIs in 11 games this month.
Andre Ethier homered and had four RBIs Saturday after going 1-for-15 (.067) in his previous five games.
Clayton Kershaw (0-1, 4.50) once again seeks his first career victory as he make his fifth big league start in the series finale.
Kershaw gave up two runs, six hits, four walks and struck out five in 5 1-3 innings of a 7-2 win over San Diego on Tuesday.
The 20-year-old left-hander has allowed two runs in three of his four starts this season, but has been backed by just eight total runs in his four starts.
This will be his first career interleague appearance.