DETROIT (DETROIT FREE PRESS) - David Price has a big challenge in front of him. Help the Detroit Tigers to the world title? Well, yes. But before that he faces a different uphill climb:
Catching up to Max Scherzer and Rick Porcello for most wins on the Tigers staff.
Price arrives with an 11-8 mark. Porcello joined Scherzer in a tie for the AL lead in wins with 13 when he beat Colorado, 11-5, tonight at Comerica Park.
Porcello went eight innings and struck out a season-high 10 while allowing two earned runs. He tipped his cap to the roaring fans when he came off after the eighth. According to Baseball-Reference.com, Porcello matched a career high with his fourth straight start of at least seven innings pitched.
"I'm excited to be here," Price said. On his first day in a Tigers uniform, he was meeting on the bench with the media and said his "knees were knocking" because of his excitement of being with the Tigers.
The Tigers scored in all eight innings in which they batted. According to STATS, inc., the Tigers scored in all eight innings of a nine-inning home game for the first time since 1912.
The big blow was Victor Martinez's first homer since he returned to the lineup two weeks ago, a three-run drive in the fifth.
Colorado, as it has done each of the last 18 games, started a left-handed pitcher. The potential advantage was that Comerica Park, with its vast left-center field, is built for a left-handed pitcher to stymie right-handed pull hitters. The potential disadvantage was that the Tigers heavily right-handed lineup can stomp a lefty who's not sharp.
Rockies rookie lefty Tyler Matzek was in a 2-2 tie in the third when Miguel Cabrera launched a bases-empty homer into the greenery beyond the center-field fence. ESPN Stats & Information estimated the drive carried 445 feet. It tied Cabrera with Lou Whitaker for sixth place on the Tigers' home-run list at 244, one behind Cecil Fielder.
Matzek gave up a pair of two-out runs in the fourth. In the fifth, Ian Kinsler reached third with one out when his sharp grounder deflected off Matzek, who threw the ball away. With first base open, Matzek walked Cabrera to bring up Martinez, who was homerless in his 57 at-bats since he returned from his side injury.
Martinez pulled the first pitch over the left-field fence to give the Tigers an 8-2 lead. Speaking of catching up: Martinez now has a team-high 22 homers, five more than Cabrera, who has led the team in homers in all six of his previous seasons with the team.
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