Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Liriano looks to reverse luck vs. Tigers on Jackie Day

No opponent has more of a history with Francisco Liriano than the Tigers, his more frequent divisional foes during his years in the American League Central and an annual foe his last two seasons in Pittsburgh. Most of that history has not been good.
Likewise, no team has faced Alfredo Simon as often as the Pirates, all of their meetings over his previous three seasons in Cincinnati. Together, it's an Interleague matchup with a lot of history, which seems fitting as the Tigers and Pirates wrap up their first of two series this season.
Liriano is 5-9 with a 5.82 ERA in 25 games (18 starts) against Detroit, including a 1-8 mark in his last 13 appearances (11 starts) -- the one win during that stretch came on Aug. 15, 2011, at Comerica Park. He catches a break without the designated hitter, as Victor Martinez is 13-for-28 with seven base hits against him. Miguel Cabrera is 9-for-32 off Liriano, but with three doubles, two home runs, eight walks and eight strikeouts.
Simon owns a 3-4 record and 3.50 ERA in 18 games against the Pirates, including two victories in four starts last season. He has generally held Andrew McCutchen in check, 5-for-20 with a solo homer, five walks and five strikeouts.
Three things to know about this game:
1. The Tigers and Pirates will celebrate Jackie Robinson Day on Wednesday. All players will wear the number 42 in honor of the anniversary of Robinson's Major League debut in 1947.
2. Starling Marte was out of the Pirates' lineup Tuesday, but look for him to make a return Wednesday. He's 6-for-20 with three doubles off Simon.
3. Before the actual game Wednesday night, Justin Verlander will throw a simulated game Wednesday afternoon that should go a long way toward determining his status for the next turn through Detroit's rotation. Verlander, sidelined since the last week of Spring Training with a right triceps strain, is scheduled to throw four "innings" of 15 pitches each, though manager Brad Ausmus suggested he could go longer if he feels up to it.

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