After winning their first road series in more than two months, the Detroit Tigers play 14 of their next 20 games at Comerica Park, where they’ve lost one series since early June.
Going for its sixth consecutive series win at home, Detroit opens a four-game set against the resurgent Tampa Bay Rays on Friday night.
The AL Central-leading Tigers (67-59) piled up 15 runs and 24 hits against Los Angeles in two victories to open their most recent series, though they were held to seven hits in a 4-2 loss Wednesday.
Detroit went 3-3 on its West Coast trip and earned its first series victory on the road since taking three of five from the Chicago White Sox from June 8-11.
The Tigers, opening a seven-game homestand, have won 25 of 34 at Comerica. Detroit has not dropped a series at home since July 21-23.
The Tigers will look to continue that roll against the Rays, who host Detroit for three games starting next Friday.
“We know that we’ve got seven games coming up with the defending American League champions in the next 10-12 days,” manager Jim Leyland told the team’s official Web site. “We’re very aware of that, so we’ll have to play good.”
The right-hander yielded five runs and eight hits over 5 1-3 innings of a 9-4 defeat to Oakland on Sunday. He gave up a three-run homer and a solo shot to Jack Cust(notes) after allowing one home run in four previous August starts.
Porcello, who went 1-0 with a 2.21 ERA in that span, will make his first appearance against Tampa Bay (69-57). He’ll face a Rays club that has won eight of 11 since a five-game slide from Aug. 9-14.
“They’re loaded,” Leyland told his team’s Web site. “They’re really a very talented team. They’ve got a tremendous combination of power and speed.”
Matt Garza(notes) (7-8, 3.74) looks to help keep Tampa Bay’s run going when he takes the mound Friday. The right-hander’s last win came July 24, though he has a 3.99 ERA in five appearances since then.
Garza yielded three runs and struck out seven in seven innings of Saturday’s 5-4, 10-inning victory over Texas. He did not receive a decision for the fourth consecutive start.
Garza, 0-3 with a 4.94 ERA in five starts against Detroit, will try to find a way to slow down Miguel Cabrera(notes). The first baseman has batted .522 with four homers and 15 RBIs during an 11-game hitting streak.
Cabrera is hitting a major league-best .390 at home with 16 homers and 50 RBIs.
Rays left fielder Carl Crawford(notes) could return to the lineup Friday after missing the previous two games with a sore lower back. He left Monday night’s 3-2 loss at Toronto before the bottom of the third inning, when his back tightened up.
“It’s still sore, but it feels better than it felt yesterday,” Crawford told the Rays’ official Web site. “I’m going to try my best to be ready by Detroit. I can’t say, but that’s what I’m shooting for now.”
Detroit has won 10 of 15 at home against Tampa Bay since the beginning of the 2005 season.