Eddie's been on a hot streak of late. He's won five of his last six decisions, and his last outing was a 7-2 victory over the Marlins at PNC Park, a game that saw him toss one-hit ball over seven frames. Let's hope his roller coaster season continues on the upswing as we enter the dog days of the pennant chase.
He's only met Detroit twice, with an uninspiring 0-2 record and a 7.45 ERA. But that's ancient history; Edinson hasn't worked against them since 2007.
Ray, 22, was a call-up form Toledo and has pitched OK of late in AAA. In his past four starts there, he has a 3.04 ERA and 2-1 record in 23-2⁄3 innings with 12 walks and 19 strikeouts, so he can be a wild child on the hill. Ray last appeared for the Tigers in late May. His first two starts went well, giving up just one run and nine hits over 11-1/3 innings before being beaten up by the Rangers and sent back to the minors. He's taking the place of Anibal Sanchez, who will be out 3-4 weeks with a pectoral injury.
Lineup: Josh Harrison 3B, Gregory Polanco RF, Jordy Mercer SS, Russ Martin C, Starling Marte CF, Gaby Sanchez 1B, Travis Snider LF, Jayson Nix 2B and Volquez P. The order is a little shook, with Jordy in the three hole. Travis gets a start against a lefty; beside coming off a two-homer game, he's also hitting .316 (in 21 PA) against LHP in 2014.
The Tigers have lost six-of-eight to fall behind KC in the AL Central; and hopefully the Bucs can keep them reeling a while longer while they try to chase down the Brewers in the NL Central. The game starts at 7:05 and will be aired by Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan.
- Russell Martin needs three more hits for 1,000 in his career. Shouldn't be long; he's on a nine game hitting streak.
- Clint Barmes should be ready to return/rehab shortly; he's made excellent progress recovering from from his groin tear.
- The Pirates recalled RHP Brandon Cumpton from Indy and sent RHP Casey Sadler back.
- The Bucs certainly caught the Tigers at the right time. Their pitching has taken a big hit with Anibel Sanchez and Joakim Soria on the DL (and Justin Verlander may be joing them), Rick Porcello pitched relief in a 19-inning game (causing the call-up of three AAA relievers to go with two rookie starters) and may miss the Bucs home-and-home series completely, while David Price starts for Detroit the day after Pittsburgh leaves Motown.
- No decision has been reached yet on Gerrit Cole's return. He pitched well in his last rehab start with good velocity and no soreness the next day, but the brass is concerned that he left after tossing just 74 pitches.