Porcello (6-3, 3.48 ERA) went 5-0 with a 1.50 ERA in five starts last month, becoming the first Detroit rookie to record five victories in May since at least 1954.
The 20-year-old right-hander went 1-3 with a 6.23 ERA in his first four big league starts, but feels much more comfortable now. He gave up two runs in six innings of an 8-3 victory at Kansas City on Wednesday.
“I’ve had a couple of starts now and I’m able to settle in a little better out there and focus. And all the jitters are kind of gone,” Porcello said. “I think I’m getting a little more comfortable with each start.”
The Tigers (28-21) are being careful with their prized young pitcher, who hasn’t gone past the sixth inning in his last four outings. He has never faced the Red Sox.
Boston (29-22) is unsure what its lineup will look like Tuesday after manager Terry Francona made a number of changes for Sunday’s game at Toronto. The moves worked as the Red Sox broke out for an 8-2 win after totaling 13 runs over their previous five games.
“It doesn’t really change my approach,” Pedroia said. “Whatever they tell us to do, we’re willing to do it. I don’t get paid to make the lineup.”
Francona would not commit to leaving Pedroia at the top of the order. The second baseman has six hits in 28 career at-bats at Comerica Park.
“I’ve got to look at Detroit,” Francona told Boston’s official Web site. “We’ll see. I don’t think he cares one way or the other. I actually did like our lineup, but again, that’s probably because we were hitting.”
This is the first meeting of the season between Boston and Detroit. The Red Sox went 5-2 against the Tigers last year.
The Red Sox haven’t seen anything resembling that kind of pitching from the right-hander this season. He hasn’t lasted past the sixth inning, most recently allowing three runs in five innings of a 4-2 loss at Minnesota on Wednesday.
“There were cases out there today that our signs didn’t match up all the time or our timing didn’t match up,” Matsuzaka said through an interpreter. “All that comes from experience.”
Detroit completed a 4-3 road trip with a 3-0 win at Baltimore on Sunday. Curtis Granderson(notes) hit his team-high 13th homer, but he’s a .188 career hitter at home against Boston with 16 strikeouts in 48 at-bats.