Detroit Tigers rookie Andy Oliver(notes) didn’t have much success on the road while trying to earn his first major league win, but he might have better luck in his home debut Monday against the majors’ worst team.
As he searches for that milestone victory, Oliver will try to help the Tigers continue their recent success at Comerica Park in the opener of a three-game series with the Baltimore Orioles.
In his debut June 25 against Atlanta, Oliver allowed two runs and five hits over six innings in a 3-1 defeat. He was then hurt by three unearned runs during Wednesday’s 5-1 loss to Minnesota.
Oliver (0-2, 3.00 ERA) gave up five runs overall and eight hits over six innings while striking out six.
“I was struggling to get ahead in the first couple innings,” he told the Tigers’ official website.
The left-hander will try to stay ahead this time in his first home game and help the Tigers (43-37) to their 13th win in 15 games there.
Detroit opened a nine-game homestand by winning its fifth straight series at Comerica. The Tigers, though, were denied a sweep of Seattle with Sunday’s 8-1 loss after going 1 for 15 with runners in scoring position.
“We had 10 hits, but didn’t get the killer hits,” manager Jim Leyland said. “A lot of hits, no runs, didn’t pitch well, that’s the end of the game.”
They could have better success against the Orioles, who are a major league-worst 9-31 on the road.
Baltimore (25-56) is also winless in 16 straight road series dating back to September and opened a 10-game trip by losing two of three to a short-handed Boston team. The Orioles avoided the sweep Sunday by limiting the Red Sox to three hits in a 6-1 win.
Kevin Millwood(notes) (2-8, 5.40) will try to help his team to back-to-back road victories for only the second time this season. While he’s won consecutive decisions after losing his first eight, the veteran right-hander has mainly been helped by the 15 runs the Orioles have provided in his last three starts.
Millwood, who has a 6.75 ERA over that stretch, avoided a loss to Oakland on Wednesday because Baltimore rallied for a 9-6 win. He gave up six runs - all in the fourth inning - and was hurt by a pair of errors during that frame.
“Stuff like that happens. It’s kind of odd that it seems to happen in Millwood’s starts a lot,” infielder and All-Star Ty Wigginton(notes) told the team’s website. “I think every time he’s pitched, something bizarre has happened.”
Millwood has lost in two of his last three starts in Detroit, including his previous trip there with Texas on May 21, 2009. He’s 2-2 with a 2.83 ERA in five outings there and 4-5 with a 3.65 ERA in 13 overall matchups versus the Tigers.
The Tigers have won five of six against the Orioles and are 9-4 at home against them since the start of the 2006 season.