The Tigers look for a third consecutive victory while trying to extend the Rockies' season-high skid to nine games Friday night at Comerica Park. Detroit (30-33) is perhaps the majors' biggest underachiever this season, but it improved to 6-3 against the NL after taking four of six at Cincinnati and Chicago over the last week. Austin Jackson had three hits with three RBIs and Justin Verlander struck out eight over eight innings in Thursday's 5-3 win over the lowly Cubs. Two of Jackson's six hits in 22 at-bats since coming off the disabled list from an abdominal strain have left the park.
Though Detroit is 8-13 against the Rockies and lost two of three at Coors Field last season, Colorado (24-38) has dropped its last 10 interleague contests. The Rockies fell to 0-9 against the AL this season with an 8-2 loss to Oakland on Thursday. Detroit rookie Casey Crosby (1-1, 9.35 ERA) looks to help extend Colorado's misery when he makes his third career start in the opener. After he gave up six runs in 3 1-3 innings of a 9-4 loss to the Yankees in his major league debut June 1, the left-hander yielded three in 5 1-3 innings of a 7-5 win over Cleveland on June 7.
Troy Tulowitzki is eligible to come off the DL on Friday, but he reaggravated a groin injury during a rehab assignment Wednesday. Batting .287 with eight home runs and 27 RBIs in 47 games, Tulowitzki underwent an MRI and manager Jim Tracy is unsure if his star will travel to Detroit. Though the Rockies were held to six hits and didn't score until the ninth inning Thursday, the club's major concern continues to revolve around a starting pitching staff that has a 12.30 ERA during the eight-game skid. Jeff Francis (0-1, 21.60) hopes to end the rotation's awful stretch Friday with a better performance in his second start since Colorado signed him last weekend. The left-hander allowed eight runs and 10 hits in 3 1-3 innings of an 11-5 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday. Miguel Cabrera is batting .406 with eight homers in 36 career games versus Colorado.
Another high number to eclipse early, but the price here denotes reason to side the way we do this evening especially after narrowingly missing the last 2 nights by the slimmest of margins. Despite their recent struggles, Colorado still hits at a .265 clip collectively led by Carlos Gonzalex (.322 16 48) who is amongst the league leaders in batting and the Rockies offensive categories. Michael Cuddyer (.279 9 42) is also starting to put up suited numbers even after tough times in Minnesota left behind. Dexter Fowler (.274 8 28) has also shown some pop as has Tyler Colvin (.289 7 20) who is 7 for his last 10. Then again it helps to play at Coors, though the Rocks may need all the run support they could get tonight. While there's still plenty of baseball left, most in Detroit would hope for a turnaround out of the AL Central. Cabrera (.307 13 51) continues to put up MVP type numbers and Prince Fielder (.314 10 41) isn't too far behind, but most of the rest of the lineup has underacheived as well as fallen by the injury bug. Crosby will need to put together a good effort aided by run support from Brennan Boesch (.252 7 25) and Austin Jackson (.323 7 25) to help the Tigers get back to the top while chasing Cleveland and Chicago. Best of luck however you play and let's end the mini-slide by putting this one on the left side!