DETROIT – Defense took center stage in the Tigers' 2-1 series-opening win over the Yankees Monday, which featured a total of four double plays and an insane play in the hole by shortstop Jose Iglesias.
Detroit was victimized early by the talented New York defense, which turned three 5-4-3 double plays and robbed Victor Martinez of two extra-base hits with dives in the outfield. CC Sabathia took advantage by twirling six shutout innings to start the game.
But the Tigers fired back in the seventh, scoring two runs and carrying a slim 2-1 lead into the 8th inning. That's when Joba Chamberlain took over for Alfredo Simon and induced a 4-6-3 double play with runners on 1st and 3rd to preserve the lead.
On Tuesday, both teams will need a similar effort in the field.
First Pitch: 7:08 p.m. on FSD
Detroit will send out Kyle Lobstein for his second start of the season as Justin Verlander continues to struggle through his rehab (strained triceps). Lobstein has pitched to contact during his young MLB career, averaging just 6.18 strikeouts per nine innings last year and whiffing three in his only start this year.
The 25-year-old induced 11 ground balls in five innings against the Indians and will likely have to use the same formula to maneuver through the Yankees' lineup.
While Lobstein's arsenal is that of a prototypical pitch-to-contact pitcher, that's not the case with fireballer Nathan Eovaldi. Though Eovaldi struck out 10 hitters in his first two starts of 2015, he historically is not much of a strikeout pitcher in the majors.
In parts of four seasons in the National League, Eovaldi has never posted a K/9 over 6.60, which is low for a starter with an average fastball velocity near 96 mph.
Detroit has seen Eovaldi once during his young career, a 2-1 loss in the last series of the season against the Marlins in 2013. The Tigers, who had already clinched a playoff berth, managed just one run in six innings against Eovaldi, who struck out five.
Lobstein made his first career start against the Yankees last year, holding them to one earned run on four hits in six innings. Lobstein didn't strike out a batter, but induced 10 ground balls.
He'll face this Yankees starting nine:
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Brett Gardner, LF
Alex Rodriguez, DH
Mark Teixeira, 1B
Brian McCann, C
Chris Young, RF
Chase Headley, 3B
Stephen Drew, SS
Gregorio Petit, SS
The Tigers silenced the hot bat of Alex Rodriguez in the series opener, as the 39-year-old went 0-4 with a strikeout.
Detroit will counter with:
Anthony Gose, CF
Ian Kinsler, 2B
Miguel Cabrera, 1B
Victor Martinez, DH
J.D. Martinez, RF
Yoenis Cespedes, LF
Nick Castellanos, 3B
Alex Avila, C
Jose Iglesias, SS
The Tigers and Yankees will play a third straight night game on Wednesday before the finale on Thursday afternoon. David Price will battle Adam Warren in Game 3.