(Sports Network) - The Detroit Tigers hope that Doug Fister can slow down the
Oakland Athletics on Wednesday night, when the two teams play the third
contest of a four-game series at Comerica Park.
Fister will try to get the Tigers in the win column after they lost the first
two contests of this set. He has won five of his past six decisions over eight
starts, with a 2.39 earned run average in that span.
The righty beat the New York Mets on Friday, holding them to a run on eight
hits and two walks over 6 1/3 innings. He held the Mets scoreless after the
"It's just a matter of getting in a groove and being able to make the fine-
tune adjustments," Fister said. "Today, I was battling myself a lot with my
sinker and a couple of other things, but I was able to put out when I needed
Fister is 11-6 with a 3.54 ERA in 26 starts this year thanks to his current
run and faces Oakland for the first time in 2013. The 29-year-old is 5-4
against them lifetime with a 2.45 ERA in 11 starts.
While the Tigers turn to a streaking hurler, the A's counter with Dan Straily,
who is winless since July 9.
The right-handed Straily is 0-5 with a 5.20 ERA in seven starts since that win
and 6-7 with a 4.56 ERA on the season in 21 starts. He was cruising early last
Friday in Baltimore before running into trouble in the fourth.
Straily did not allow a hit over his first three frames versus the Orioles
before giving up a two-run homer to Adam Jones following a walk. Five batters
later, the 24-year-old served up a grand slam to Brian Roberts and was lifted
with one out recorded in the frame, but ended up with a no-decision.
Straily will face the Tigers for the first time in his career looking to
secure a series victory after Oakland's rain-shortened 6-3 win on Tuesday.
Brandon Moss hit a tie-breaking two-run homer off Detroit's Justin Verlander
in the fifth inning and Seth Smith added a solo homer off of Bruce Rondon in
the sixth. The A's had the bases loaded with nobody out later in the inning
when the rain intensified and the contest was called after a delay of 80
Manager Bob Melvin did not have to use his bullpen after Tommy Milone settled
down following a rough first inning in which he gave up three runs, two
earned. He retired 12 of his final 14 batters faced to earn the win.
Verlander also had a rough first inning and was charged with five runs - three
earned -- in five innings.
"We were really patient and made him work," Melvin said of Verlander.
Detroit's ace is winless in his last four starts.
"I don't feel fatigued. At my age it's not I'm dropping velocity," said the
30-year-old Verlander, who threw 44 pitches in the first inning. "I think
it's more of a mechanical thing than anything."
Oakland has won three of its last four and is three games ahead of Cleveland
for the AL's second wild card. The A's trail the Texas Rangers by 2 1/2 games
for first place in the AL West.
Detroit, meanwhile, got a two-run single from Prince Fielder and had won six
of eight prior to this set. The Tigers still lead the Indians by 5 1/2 games
for the top spot in the AL Central.
The Tigers won two of three in Oakland back in April and had claimed five of
the previous seven meetings prior to this series.
The Sports Network