Three games into his season, Carlos Guillen already seems comfortable at the plate. That could only mean good things for the Detroit Tigers.
Guillen looks to help the Tigers to a third consecutive victory Wednesday night against the Athletics at Comerica Park.
Since making his 2011 debut Saturday after a knee injury ended his 2010 season in August, Guillen is 4 for 10 with three RBIs while Detroit (51-45) has won two of three with him in the lineup.
Guillen, who turns 36 in September, hit a two-run homer and reached base four times in Tuesday’s 8-3 win over Oakland. He’s homered in two of his last three games against the A’s.
“It stretches out your lineup any time you get another hitter going in there,” manager Jim Leyland said. “Especially a switch hitter like Carlos and a proven hitter.
“I’ll definitely watch him but he feels good right now, real eager to go and everything.”
Miguel Cabrera hit a two-run homer and Brennan Boesch added three hits as the Tigers used a six-run fifth inning to win a second straight contest after following the All-Star break with consecutive losses to the Chicago White Sox.
Detroit, tied with Cleveland atop the AL Central, scored as many runs Tuesday as it did while splitting its previous four games.
Victor Martinez added two hits for the Tigers and has batted .412 (7 for 17) with four doubles and one home run against scheduled Oakland starter Brandon McCarthy. Guillen, however, is 0 for 10 versus the right-hander.
McCarthy (2-5, 3.53 ERA) looks to help the A’s bounce back as he tries to build on his first win in three months. McCarthy, who spent almost two months on the disabled list with a shoulder injury, was 0-5 with a 3.54 ERA in nine starts before he allowed two runs and struck out seven in 5 1-3 innings of a 5-3 win over the Los Angeles Angels on Friday.
“I’m not shy with how much I hate the win-loss stat … but it’s just nice to get us a win again,” McCarthy said.
He is 0-3 with a 3.90 ERA in six starts versus Detroit, but allowed six hits and fanned seven in 6 2-3 scoreless innings of an 8-4, 10-inning loss to the Tigers on April 15. McCarthy has allowed three earned runs in each of his four career appearances at Comerica Park, but is 0-3 in those contests.
Cliff Pennington had three hits and Hideki Matsui drove in two runs for the A’s (42-55), who took three of four from the Los Angeles Angels prior to this series.
Matsui, who has six RBIs the last four games, and the rest of the A’s get their first look at left-hander Duane Below as he makes his major league debut for the Tigers.
Below, who grew up within an hour of Comerica Park in Britton, Mich., went 9-4 with a 3.13 ERA in 18 starts at Triple-A Toledo. He allowed six runs over 26 innings of his last four.
It’s uncertain if Below will face former Tiger and current Oakland infielder Scott Sizemore, who is day to day after being hit in the left jaw by a pitch while squaring around to bunt Tuesday.
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