DETROIT - The Detroit Tigers return home to Comerica Park this week in need of a winning streak after a rough weekend in Minnesota.
The last time the Tigers were at home, they swept the Kansas City Royals to build a five-game winning streak and climb four games above .500. Ron Gardenhire's team has struggled since then, losing four of its last five games.
First, the Tigers will welcome the Pittsburgh Pirates to Detroit for a short two-game series.
Matthew Boyd will take the mound Tuesday looking to end the team's first three-game losing streak of the season. Boyd has been magnificent through three starts, whiffing a league-leading 29 batters while allowing just 14 hits in 17.1 innings.
Spencer Turnbull will start against Trevor Williams on Wednesday.
The Pirates are off to a nice start this season, but the Tigers have played well at home and should have an opportunity in both games considering the pitching matchups.
Daniel Norris is scheduled to get his first start of the season Thursday against the Chicago White Sox, who sit two games behind the Tigers in the standings. If the Tigers have any plans of sticking around the top of the division, they have to beat up on this White Sox team.
It'll be a four-game series, with Tyson Ross, Jordan Zimmermann and Boyd starting the final three games. The White Sox will counter with Ivan Nova, Carlos Rodon, Ervin Santana and Reynaldo Lopez. It's not an overly talented pitching staff, but Rodon and Lopez have plenty of upside while Nova and Santana can induce weak contact.
Despite their current three-game losing streak, the Tigers are a surprise at 8-7 and sit just a game back in the American League Central Division. There aren't many true contenders in the AL, so there will be opportunities for the Tigers to rack up a few wins against other rebuilding teams.
The first half of April has been entertaining for Tigers fans, but this week could go one of two ways: the Tigers start winning again or a long losing streak begins.
After the home stand, the Tigers play nine straight games on the road, including four against the defending World Series champion Boston Red Sox and two against the revamped Philadelphia Phillies. Wins could be at a premium during that trip, making this week even more important.
Gardenhire will also have to deal with the first round of injury adversity, as Matt Moore and Jordy Mercer hit the injured list and Nicholas Castellanos deals with an injured toe.
The Tigers have found a way to stay afloat so far, but this week will provide a test they need to pass.
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