DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 11: Jose Valverde #46 of the Detroit Tigers throws a pitch against the Texas Rangers in Game Three of the American League Championship Series at Comerica Park on October 11, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. The Tigers defeated the Rangers 5-2. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
The Tigers are back in this thing. After dropping the first two games of the ALCS in Texas, the Tigers won 5-2 in their return to Comerica Park on Tuesday, and another win this afternoon would even the series at two games apiece. The Rangers will send Matt Harrison to the mound to try to prevent that from happening, while the Tigers turn to Rick Porcello.
Harrison is coming off the best season of his career, but he's traditionally struggled against Detroit, posting a 0-4 record and 7.43 ERA in five career starts. In two starts this year, he's 0-2 with a 6.30 ERA. And unfortunately for Harrison, the Tigers offense is finally warming up: Detroit hit three home runs in Game 3, and with five runs scored doubled the team's total for the series.
"They're a tough lineup," Harrison said. "The big thing is you have to keep them uncomfortable at the plate."
Rick Porcello, who pitched two innings of scoreless relief in Game 1 against the Rangers, lost his only start in the ALDS, allowing four runs in six innings against the Yankees. On Tuesday, he said Texas posed a bigger challenge than New York.
"The Rangers lineup is a little bit deeper, I think," he said. "One through nine, they have guys that can hurt you. You really have to be on your game, and you have to focus on every pitch because they got guys that can hit the ball out of the ballpark.
"You make one mistake, and it could be the difference."
Both the Tigers and Rangers have dangerous lineups, but at this point in the season, they're also dinged up. Adrian Beltre (bruised knee) and Victor Martinez (intercostal strain) are just the latest to see the trainer's table, although both players expect to play through the pain.
Game Date/Time: Tuesday, Oct. 11, 4:19 p.m. ET (rain may delay the game)
Stadium: Comerica Park, Detroit, Michigan
Texas Rangers: Matt Harrison (14-9, 3.39 ERA)
Detroit Tigers: Rick Porcello (14-9, 4.75 ERA)