June 3rd, 2008

Two scoreless innings for Zumaya

Joel Zumaya pitched two scoreless innings with a hit, a walk and a strikeout. Brittany Ghiroli, our reporter stationed in Lakeland, said that he was hitting triple digits on the radar gun at Joker Marchant Stadium, but that the readings are believed to be a little off. Even if it’s a couple mph off, those are readings that sound like the old Zumaya.

Thames in at DH, batting third

By now, no doubt, you have the news on Francisco Cruceta’s designation. Casey Fossum is expected here sometime this evening, possibly by game time, but with the piggyback start going tonight it’s unlikely he’ll be needed. GM Dave Dombrowski apparently made the decision on the move this morning in the wake of last night’s loss.

Somebody asked who will set up. For the most part, Leyland said, Zach Miner will be working the eighth inning. That could be different for the rest of this series because of Oakland’s left-handed bats, but that’s the plan going forward until/unless Rodney, Zumaya and Bautista return.

As for the lineup, Marcus Thames returns not in RF but at DH, with Jeff Larish getting the night off against lefty Dana Eveland. Interesting, Thames is batting third, with Guillen moved down to sixth. Granderson is again starting against a left-hander.

Brandon Inge again is only expected to be available as a defensive replacement in the late innings. Leyland does not want to take a chance on having Inge hit and aggravate his left oblique pull into something that could require a DL stint.

As for the great piggyback start experiment, look for Willis to go about four innings, with Armando Galarraga going four or five from there. If the Tigers are leading in a situation that would warrant a closer, Todd Jones will pitch the ninth.

TIGERS (24-33)

  1. Granderson, CF
  2. Polanco, 2B
  3. Thames, DH
  4. Ordonez, RF
  5. Cabrera, 1B
  6. Guillen, 3B
  7. Renteria, SS
  8. Rodriguez, C
  9. Raburn, LF

A’s (31-27)

  1. Mark Ellis, 2B
  2. Bobby Crosby, SS
  3. Jack Cust, DH
  4. Eric Chavez, 3B
  5. Emil Brown, LF
  6. Travis Buck, RF
  7. Daric Barton, 1B
  8. Carlos Gonzalez, CF
  9. Kurt Suzuki, C