Tigers-Athletics Preview

The Associated Press

The Detroit Tigers are certainly capable of scoring a lot of runs. They just hope to do it on a more consistent basis.

Coming off one of their best offensive performances of the season, the Tigers continue their four-game road set with the Oakland Athletics on Friday night.

One night after being held to five hits in a 2-1 loss at Seattle, Detroit (16-15) matched a season high with 17 en route to a 10-6 win Thursday at Oakland. Miguel Cabrera and Andy Dirks each had four hits as the Tigers scored their most runs since a 13-12, 11-inning win over Boston on April 8.

Despite their lineup of big hitters like Cabrera, Prince Fielder, Delmon Young and Alex Avila, the Tigers are batting .255, and until Thursday ranked near the middle of the majors with 124 runs. They scored eight times in the third inning of the opener.

"We finally got it going," said Cabrera, who had three RBIs. "That's what we are looking for. It's not one guy. We scored a lot of runs, hopefully we can do it (Friday) and the rest of the season."

Hitless in his previous 14 at-bats heading into the series opener, Cabrera was one of four Tigers who took extra batting practice Thursday. He's batting .344 with 32 RBIs in 35 career games versus Oakland.

Dirks is 12 for 21 (.571) with two home runs and six RBIs in his last five games.

Detroit, though, has not won consecutive contests since a four-game run April 15-18.

"One night doesn't mean we're out of our offensive woes, but that's a good sign for us,'' manager Jim Leyland said. "It does get contagious. I do believe in that."

After Max Scherzer pitched 6 1-3 strong innings, Detroit's Rick Porcello (3-2, 4.91 ERA) tries for a third straight victory Friday.

The right-hander allowed one homer among four hits in 6 1-3 innings of a 3-1 win over Chicago on Sunday. After giving up 14 runs in 7 2-3 innings of consecutive losses to Texas and Seattle, Porcello has yielded four in 14 1-3 innings of the last two after working with pitching coach Jeff Jones to fine-tune his delivery.

"(Jones) sees a lot and he's extremely helpful when it comes to certain things like that in your delivery to consistently execute pitches," Porcello told the Tigers' official website.

Porcello is 2-4 with a 4.39 ERA in seven starts against the A's, including 0-3 with a 5.56 ERA in four at Oakland.

He will try to contain ex-Tiger Brandon Inge, who hit his second grand slam in three games Thursday. Inge, who broke in with the Tigers in 2001 and was released by them April 26, is 5 for 15 with three homers and 12 RBIs in his last four games.

"It's been pretty impressive," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "He's been coming up in big situations. It's very welcome."

Tommy Milone (4-2, 4.42) hopes to avoid a third straight rough outing Friday when he faces the Tigers for the first time.

The left-hander was 3-1 with a 2.00 ERA before he allowed 13 runs in 9 2-3 innings while splitting his last two outings. Milone gave up five runs - four in the first inning - and a season-high four walks in five innings but still earned the win in a 9-5 victory at Tampa Bay on Sunday.

What to Read Next