Detroit right-hander Rony Garcia will attempt to build upon the best start of his career as the Tigers look for a split of their two-game set against the host San Francisco Giants on Wednesday afternoon.
The Giants took the upper hand in the interleague series with a 4-3 victory on Tuesday night, winning despite getting out-hit 10-7. Detroit also amassed four extra-base hits to San Francisco’s one.
Evan Longoria and Mike Yastrzemski accounted for all the San Francisco scoring with two-run hits, both coming with two outs.
The Giants have never faced Garcia (2-2, 4.57 ERA), who seemed to have settled into a nice bullpen role to start his third season in the majors. However, injuries to the Detroit starting staff required the 24-year-old to take on a new role, one with which he appears to be becoming more comfortable.
“I’ve had to go all-in, 100 percent, as a starter, give the team some well-pitched games and help the bullpen as much as possible,” he said. “I go start by start, inning by inning. I throw this inning and move on to the next.”
The approach worked in his last start at Arizona, when he limited the Diamondbacks to one run on three hits in 5 1/3 innings during a 5-1 win on Friday. Garcia had never pitched in a stadium farther west than Minnesota in his big-league career.
Garcia is set to make his seventh consecutive start. He was winless with a 7.00 ERA in the first four, but has since logged consecutive wins over the Texas Rangers and the Diamondbacks, allowing a total of four earned runs in 11 1/3 innings.
The Giants are expected to counter with left-hander Alex Wood (5-6, 5.05 ERA), who like Garcia has never faced the opposition.
Wood also has never dealt with Tigers star Miguel Cabrera, but he does have a history with Javier Baez. The ex-Chicago Cub has gone 5-for-13 (.385) with three doubles and a walk against him.
Cabrera had two of the Tigers’ 10 hits in the series opener. The second was the 3,056th of his career, moving him past Rickey Henderson and into 26th place on the all-time list.
The 39-year-old is now four away from tying Craig Biggio for 25th.
Wood should be well rested. He faced just 11 batters in his start at Atlanta on Thursday, charged with six runs in one-plus inning. The Giants went on to lose the game 7-6.
The 31-year-old might not have Camilo Doval as a safety net in the series finale. The Giants’ closer was called upon to get the final four outs of the Tuesday win, as he entered with the bases loaded and two outs in the eighth inning in a one-run game.
Doval struck out Jonathan Schoop to escape the jam, then worked around a walk in the ninth inning.
“What’s most notable is how calm he is in those situations. It definitely stood out tonight,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler said postgame. “Also his ability to get in the zone and stay in the zone is pretty impressive for a young pitcher without that much experience, coming in with the bases loaded and everything on the line for a four-out save. Obviously did a tremendous job.”
–Field Level Media