While the Detroit Tigers just got the best of the New York Mets’ ace, they face another potential difficult matchup.
The visiting Tigers go for a three-game sweep of the Mets, who send Dillon Gee – one of baseball’s hottest pitchers over the last three months – to the mound Sunday.
Max Scherzer outdueled Matt Harvey in a rematch of All-Star game starters, leading Detroit (76-53) to a 3-0 win Saturday. Scherzer, who joined Rube Marquard in 1912 and Roger Clemens in 2001 as the only pitchers to start 19-1 in a season, also delivered an RBI double – one of the team’s 15 hits.
The Tigers, who have posted a .328 average in winning five of seven, have collected at least 11 hits in all but one of those games. Omar Infante and Andy Dirks both had three hits Saturday, while Miguel Cabrera, Austin Jackson and Matt Tuiasosopo each added two.
Cabrera, batting a major league-best .356, is 18 for 47 (.383) with seven homers and 18 RBIs in his last 11 road games. Jackson is 12 for 27 (.444) with two homers, six RBIs and eight runs during a six-game hitting streak.
The Tigers, though, could have a hard time keeping things going against Gee (9-8, 3.60 ERA), whose 2.27 ERA since May 30 ranks third-best in the majors in that span.
“This is what we’ve known him to be in the past,” manager Terry Collins said of Gee, who is 3-1 with an even more impressive 1.47 ERA in his last seven starts. “I wouldn’t be at all surprised if you look up in the next six weeks, and he’s going to have 14 or 15 wins.”
Gee had everything working again Monday in a 6-1 win at Minnesota, yielding one unearned run and striking out nine in 7 2-3 innings.
“It helps to have the help that I’ve had. I’ve had great catchers calling great games, and Juan (Lagares) tracks down everything there in center field,” Gee said. “It gives you confidence to keep attacking.”
Gee has been nearly untouchable in three outings against the AL this season, going 2-0 with a 0.82 ERA and 25 strikeouts in 22 innings. This will be his first matchup versus Detroit.
The punchless Mets (58-69) may need another gem from Gee if they hope to get back on track. New York is hitting .206 and has managed just two runs during a three-game losing streak.
The Mets will try to break out against Tigers starter Rick Porcello (9-7, 4.52), who is coming off his first loss since June 30. The right-hander had gone 5-0 with a 2.62 ERA over a seven-start stretch before surrendering five runs in 4 1-3 innings Tuesday in a 6-3 defeat to Minnesota.
Porcello was hit hard in his only meeting against the Mets, giving up seven runs and 11 hits – one shy of his career high – in 3 2-3 innings in a 14-3 loss June 28, 2011.
Like Gee, he has impressed in three interleague starts this year, going 2-0 with a 2.66 ERA. Porcello is also 5-2 with a 2.36 ERA in his last eight road outings.
Detroit’s Victor Martinez, who caught for the first time in more than two years on Friday night, is expected back after sitting out Saturday. Shortstop Jose Iglesias, though, is uncertain to be available again due to a sore left elbow.
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