After spoiling a former teammates’ return to Detroit in the series opener, the surging Tigers will look to repeat that effort Saturday.
Facing Dontrelle Willis(notes) for the first time since being dealt to Arizona (26-42) earlier this month, Detroit (37-29) tagged the left-hander for five runs in five innings and won its ninth straight at Comerica Park on Friday, 7-5.
“I knew his adrenaline would be pumping because he was back here, but I wouldn’t have had (Willis) out there if I didn’t think he could handle it,” Diamondbacks manager A.J. Hinch said after his team lost its franchise-record 14th straight road game.
Jackson (3-6, 5.18 ERA) will try to help Arizona snap this dubious mark while preventing his former Tigers teammates from winning eight in a row for the first time since April 29-May 8, 2007.
In his only season in Detroit, Jackson was an All-Star—going 13-9 with a 3.62 ERA and a career-high 161 strikeouts.
“I’m sure Edwin is going to bring his ‘A’ game, and he had a lot of success pitching here,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland told the team’s official website. “I think it’s going to be fun to go out and compete against him.”
Leyland hasn’t had much fun watching second-year right-hander Rick Porcello(notes) (4-6, 6.09). The 21-year-old makes his first appearance in 10 days after his last start was skipped to work on his mechanics.
“He’s been doing fine, but we won’t know until you see him pitch in a game,” Leyland said. “We’ll see tomorrow when we put live hitters up there. But he’s been doing very well.”
Leyland was far more concerned following Porcello’s last outing, a 15-3 loss at the Chicago White Sox on June 9. Porcello lasted just 3 1/3 innings, giving up a career-high eight runs and eight hits.
“Not being effective is the bottom line,” said Porcello, who was 14-9 with a 3.96 ERA last season and finished third in AL rookie of the year voting.
Porcello, who is 4-0 with a 2.12 ERA in five career interleague starts, has never faced Arizona.
Tigers right fielder Magglio Ordonez(notes) has fared much better at the plate lately, batting .471 with two homers and 11 RBIs during an eight-game hitting streak. He is hitting .500 in seven interleague games this season.
Detroit has won a franchise-record eight straight against the NL and is a major league-best 60-22 in interleague play since the beginning of 2006.
The last time the Tigers won 10 consecutive home games was June 15-July 15, 2006.