It's been a rough start to Doug Fister's first full season in Detroit.
The right-hander hopes things get better when he returns from his second stint on the disabled list Saturday looking to help the Tigers even their home series with the Colorado Rockies.
Detroit (30-34) was hoping for big things from Fister (0-3, 3.15 ERA), who went 7-1 with a 1.87 ERA in 10 regular season starts for the Tigers last year after they acquired him from Seattle. However, he landed on the DL with a strained left side following his first start of the season. Fister returned to make five more starts before going back on the shelf May 30 with the same injury.
Apparently healthy again, Fister returns to the mound Saturday for the first time since he allowed season highs of six runs and 11 hits in five innings of a 7-4 loss at Boston on May 28.
"Getting out there this weekend is going to be a good feeling,'' Fister said. "Something I've been looking forward to.''
Fister and the Tigers hope his health problems are finally behind him and he can focus on regaining his successful form from the end of 2011.
"I think he's over the hump this time, but we'll see,'' manager Jim Leyland said.
Making his first appearance against the Rockies, Fister looks to help the Tigers rebound from Friday's 12-4, 10-inning loss to Colorado. Detroit had won five of seven entering this weekend's series.
Carlos Gonzalez's three-run homer highlighted an eight-run 10th to help the Rockies (25-38) snap an eight-game skid. Colorado also became the last team in the majors this season to earn an interleague victory.
"It's great to get that stigma off our back,'' said manager Jim Tracy, whose team improved to 1-9 against AL opponents. "This is really good for our club.''
Gonzalez, who had three hits, is 11 for 28 (.393) with three home runs and six RBIs in his last six games.
Teammate Michael Cuddyer also homered and had three of Colorado's 16 hits Friday. Formerly of AL Central rival Minnesota, Cuddyer is batting .327 with two homers in his last 12 games at Comerica Park.
While the Rockies' bats played a big role in helping end the team's extended skid, the pitching staff allowed fewer than six runs for the first time in nine contests.
"It's been a tough stretch and we needed this," said Colorado starter Jeff Francis, who allowed all four runs in 5 1-3 innings.
Christian Friedrich (4-2, 5.85) hopes to bounce back from the worst start of his rookie season when he takes the ball Saturday for the Rockies. After giving up four hits in seven innings of a 4-0 win at Arizona in his previous outing, the left-hander surrendered nine runs and 10 hits - three homers - in four innings of Sunday's 10-8 home loss to the Los Angeles Angels.
He'll try to contain Detroit's Prince Fielder, who had two hits and an RBI on Friday. Fielder is batting .385 with 17 RBIs in his last 21 games, and .378 in his last 11 versus Colorado.