CHICAGO, Ill. – The Detroit Tigers (13-9) will look to complete the sweep of a short two-game series in Chicago on Wednesday afternoon as they send Max Scherzer up against the Chicago White Sox (14-14) starter Hector Noesi.
TV: 2:10 p.m. ET, MLB Network, FSN Detroit, WGN (Chicago)
Detroit took the first game of the series in dramatic style Tuesday, as catcher Bryan Holaday laid down a perfect bunt to drive in Austin Jackson for the eventual winning run in the ninth inning. Holaday was a late addition to the lineup after starting catcher Alex Avila was scratched due to back spasms.
Holaday's RBI single represents the latest example of the Tigers getting contributions from unsuspected sources.
Detroit's top offensive performer through 22 games is offseason acquisition Rajai Davis. He is hitting .333 with eight stolen bases. The 33-year-old has hit over .300 just once during his eight-year career and holds a lifetime average of .270. But Davis has flourished early in his first season in Detroit, playing full-time due to an injury to Andy Dirks.
However, J.D. Martinez will start for Davis on Wednesday after the speedy outfielder went 0-4 Tuesday.
Rookie third baseman Nick Castellanos is also helping to carry a Tigers offense waiting for Miguel Cabrera to return to his MVP form. The youngster ranks in the top three on the team in both home runs (3) and RBI (13) early in the season.
While the offensive contributors have been surprises so far this season, Wednesday's starting pitcher has delivered so far as expected. Scherzer leads the Tigers with a 2.45 ERA and has recorded quality starts in all but one outing. The reigning Cy Young Award winner will face a familiar lineup on Wednesday, as the Tigers battle the White Sox for the sixth time in just 10 days.
Scherzer has experienced recent success against this White Sox team, striking out 10 hitters in six innings in his last start and notching three wins in five starts against them in 2013. The righty allowed 11 runs in 32 2/3 innings against Chicago last season en route to his first AL Cy Young Award. The current White Sox roster has combined for just 62 career hits against Scherzer, compared to 81 strikeouts.
Chicago will send out the 27-year-old Noesi, who has experienced quite a journey through the first month of the season. Noesi began the season as a member of the Seattle Mariners before being sent to the minor leagues and traded to the Texas Rangers. He made just three appearances for the Rangers before designated for an assignment on April 22, when the White Sox claimed him off of waivers.
Chicago must have seen something they liked in Noesi during his final outing with Texas, in which he allowed seven runs to the White Sox in just one inning. The young right-hander made his first appearance for the White Sox on April 26, allowing no runs in 1 1/3 innings.
Wednesday will be his first start of the season.
The Tigers' starting lineup will feature just two players that have at bats against Noesi in their careers. Cabrera has a home run in three at bats against the Chicago starter, while Ian Kinsler has gone just 1-8 lifetime against him.
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Detroit currently holds a 1.5-game lead in the American League Central Division. It will have an off-day on Thursday before starting a three-game series in Kansas City on Friday.