For starters, Rays at Tigers
The Rays, coming off an impressive shutout victory over the Tigers, will wrap up their eight-game road trip with a matinee today here at Comerica Park.
Tampa Bay (32-26) has won eight of its last 10 games, including 5-2 on this road trip through Miami, Cleveland and Detroit.
RHP Roberto Hernandez, who may have had his best outing as a Ray his last start in Miami, hopes to build off that today against a much more dangerous Tigers lineup. Manager Joe Maddon said the key, of course, will be keeping his sinker down, and his fastball velocity at the 92 mph range.
LF Kelly Johnson, tied for the team-lead in homers and RBI, will not start for the second straight game due to back stiffness. Johnson said he feels the same as yesterday, he could play and even pinch-hit, but the Rays are trying to be smart with it. Johnson doesn't believe it'll be a lingering issue.
Maddon said during his pre-game session that RHP Joel Peralta may be the team MVP to this point of the season, being the rock in what's been an inconsistent bullpen.
Some footnotes from Wednesday's win:
*With the three-run rally in the ninth, the Rays have scored 30 runs in the ninth inning, the most in the majors, followed by the Reds nad Red Sox (28 each).
*After RHP Alex Cobb's 7 2/3 inning shutout against the Tigers, he lowered his ERA to 2.39, third lowest in the AL behind Boston's Clay Buchholz (1.62) and Mariners Hisashi Iwakuma (1.94). His 7 2/3 outing marked the longest scoreless outign of any pitcher this season against the Tigers.
Cobb is also 5-1 with a 2.03 ERA in eight starts this season after a Rays loss, with the team 6-2 in those starts.