Detroit Tigers (67-56) at Tampa Bay Rays (61-64)
Wednesday, August 20 - 7:10 PM EST
Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida
The Detroit Tigers look to build off a productive offensive effort when they visit the Tampa Bay Rays for the middle contest of their three-game series on Wednesday. The Tigers rallied from four runs down and received RBIs from seven players to beat the Rays 8-6 in 11 innings on Tuesday, remaining in a virtual tie with Seattle for the second American League wild card and two games behind first-place Kansas City in the AL Central. Detroit’s J.D. Martinez is 8-for-20 over his last five games, including a homer in the series opener.
Rick Porcello gave up seven runs in a loss to Tampa Bay on July 6 but hopes for better results as he opposes Jake Odorizzi, who is 5-1 in his last six outings. Tuesday’s effort was welcomed by the Tigers after they scored only seven runs while losing two of three to Seattle in their previous series. The Rays have lost three straight after climbing back to .500 and stand seven games out in the AL wild-card race.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, FSN Detroit, Sun Sports (Tampa Bay)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Tigers RH Rick Porcello (13-8, 3.28 ERA) vs. Rays RH Jake Odorizzi (9-9, 3.82)
Porcello has dropped three consecutive decisions, including a relief appearance and Friday’s start against Seattle in which he permitted six runs (five earned) over six innings. The 25-year-old has registered a 2.92 ERA in his last six outings but has posted just one victory due to poor run support. Desmond Jennings is 5-for-14 with a homer versus Porcello, who is 2-3 with a 3.96 ERA in six career starts against the Rays.
Odorizzi has solidified his spot in the middle of Tampa Bay's rotation while allowing three runs or fewer in 11 of his last 12 starts. The Illinois native is 7-3 in that span, including Thursday's outing at Texas in which he yielded two runs over seven innings. Odorizzi, who faces Detroit for the first time in his career, has registered 146 strikeouts in 129 2/3 innings and owns a 3.10 ERA at home as opposed to a 4.74 mark on the road.
1. Tampa Bay is 28-35 at home this season as only four teams in the majors have fewer victories in their own stadium.
2. Detroit 1B Miguel Cabrera is batting .406 with 26 hits, 16 runs scored and 10 RBIs in 18 games versus Tampa Bay since the start of the 2012 season.
3. The Rays have been involved in 29 shutouts (15 for, 14 against) this season, tied for the major-league lead with St. Louis.
PREDICTION: Rays 6, Tigers 3