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News » Tigers-Angels Preview 2008-05-28

Tigers-Angels Preview 2008-05-28

Tigers-Angels Preview 2008-05-28
Although the Los Angeles Angels have received some stellar pitching from all of their starters recently, Joe Saunders has not only separated himself in Anaheim, but in the American League as well.

Saunders and the AL West-leading Angels look to complete a three-game sweep of the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday when the two close the series in Anaheim.

Saunders (8-1, 2.31 ERA) is tied with Boston's Daisuke Matsuzaka for the AL lead in wins, and he also has the second-lowest ERA in the league. The left-hander comes into Wednesday having won his last two starts, and pitched a season-high 8 1-3 innings against the White Sox on Friday, allowing one run and three hits in the 3-1 win.

"The guy is (8-1) for a reason," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen told the Angels' official Web site. "So far he's done a tremendous job. He went out there and threw an unbelievable game."

With the victory, Saunders matched his career high in wins set last year, when he went 8-5 with a 4.44 ERA in 18 starts.

Saunders tries to record his first decision against the Tigers (21-31). He has a 2.84 ERA in 12 2-3 innings pitched against Detroit, and the Angels (32-22) won both of those starts

Saunders also looks to continue building on yet another solid outing by the Angels rotation after Ervin Santana pitched a three-hitter while striking out seven in a 3-2 win over the Tigers. That followed Jon Garland's 7 1-3 scoreless innings in Monday's 12-inning, 1-0 win in the series opener.

The Angels won the game in their final at-bat for the second straight night. After Garret Anderson walked on four pitches with the bases loaded in the 12th on Monday, Gary Matthews Jr. hit an RBI single with two out in the ninth on Tuesday.

Since May 18, Angels starters are 6-2 with a 2.22 ERA. They've pitched into the eighth inning in the last five starts, and have a 1.33 ERA during that stretch.

The Tigers, meanwhile, have lost three straight after winning four of their previous five. They averaged 10.6 runs during that five-game stretch, but have scored just three runs in the last three games.

"The last couple of games we pitched great, but we didn't hit well," said Miguel Cabrera, who hit a two-run homer on Tuesday. "We need to start hitting like we can."

Before the game, Detroit placed Gary Sheffield on the 15-day disabled list with an oblique strain on his left side. He was injured on Monday while running out a grounder. Sheffield was hitting just .213 with three homers and 12 RBIs.

Armando Galarraga (3-2, 3.70) takes the mound for Detroit, looking to help avoid the sweep. The right-hander matched season highs with five runs and seven hits allowed over six innings on Friday in a 9-4 loss to the Twins.

The rookie allowed three hits and three runs - one earned - in six innings of a 6-4 win over the Angels on April 26.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: May 28, 2008

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