One bad inning seems to spoil every Michael Fulmer start.
The Detroit Tigers right-hander can look overpowering most of the time [url=http://www.billscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-stephen-hauschka-jersey]Stephen Hauschka Jersey[/url] , but the opposition catches up to him at some point.
In Cincinnati three starts ago, he dominated for five innings before giving up two home runs in the sixth.
Against Oakland in his next outing, he lasted eight innings but gave up three runs in the third. Facing the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday, Fulmer tossed four scoreless innings but allowed three runs in the fifth.
He wound up with two losses and a no-decision in those starts. He’ll try to break the habit in the finale of a four-game series against the Texas Rangers on Sunday afternoon.
“Overall, it’s just kind of eliminating that one big inning,” Fulmer said of his struggles. “I feel like that’s what it is every start. If I can just keep the crooked numbers off the scoreboard every inning and just try to put up zeroes the best I can, the results will come eventually. I know I’ve been saying that for a while, but I feel like we’re close and I’m still happy with my stuff right now.”
Fulmer (3-7, 4.22 ERA) has posted one victory in his last seven outings. Run support has been spotty at best for him this season — he has given up two or fewer runs in eight starts — but he’d rather make things easier on his team.
“I feel like any given start, it just needs one complete game and we’re going to turn the corner,” he said. “Everything else feels good. I feel healthy [url=http://www.officialhurricanes.com/authentic-adidas-rod-brind_amour-jersey]Rod Brind'Amour Jersey[/url] , I feel strong and you can see that by the way I’m executing my pitches.”
Fulmer is 1-1 with a 4.58 ERA in three career starts against the Rangers. He can take inspiration from Jordan Zimmermann’s performance Friday after the veteran right-hander limited Texas to one run in eight innings and struck out 11.
“His command (Friday) was impeccable,” Fulmer said. “The biggest key for myself is trying to command the ball a little better.”
Detroit got another strong start Saturday from Mike Fiers, who gave up one run in six innings of the Tigers’ 7-1 win.
Right-hander Austin Bibens-Dirkx (1-2, 4.40) will oppose Fulmer. He has made three starts since being recalled from Triple-A Round Rock.
Bibens-Dirkx gave up five runs in six innings against Houston in his last start, but it could have been worse. All the runs came in the first three innings, but he settled down and retired nine of the last 12 batters he faced.
This will be Bibens-Dirkx’s first career start against the Tigers, but he tossed 4 2/3 innings of scoreless relief last season. He’s 4-1 with a 3.81 ERA in 14 road appearances (five starts) since making his major league debut as a 32-year-old last season.
Texas designated hitter Shin-Shoo Choo can establish a franchise on-base record Sunday. He tied Julio Franco’s 1993 mark by reaching base for the 46th consecutive game Saturday.
He had two doubles after homering Friday despite dealing with a quad injury.
“Very impressive what Choo’s doing,” manager Jeff Banister said. “Any time a player is battling through some nagging things and continuing to go out and perform is highly impressive. He’s a tremendous player. For me, it’s not just the on-base (streak), it’s how he’s playing, how he’s swinging the bat [url=http://www.denverbroncosteamonline.com/daesean-hamilton-jersey]Authentic DaeSean Hamilton Jersey[/url] , the power, the extra-base hits and the walks.”
MILWAUKEE — Lorenzo Cain won’t be available Wednesday when the Milwaukee Brewers wrap up a two-game interleague series with the Kansas City Royals at Miller Park.
The Brewers had hoped that by resting Cain on Sunday against St. Louis ahead of a team off-day Monday, the veteran center fielder would be ready to return to action against his former team.
Instead, they’ll go at least another week without him after placing on the disabled list with a strained groin.
“After going through treatment the last couple of days, he’s unable to play,” manager Craig Counsell said. “We think it’s mild and it’s going to be a short stay (on the DL) but we just didn’t think it was worth waiting three or four days to see if he’s ready to go.
“He’s only out for eight days, after missing two already, then we’ll reassess. We’re hoping it’s on the short end.”
Even if it’s a short stay, the loss is a big one for the Brewers, who signed Cain to a five-year $80 million contract this winter. He’s been a force atop the Brewers’ lineup, batting .291 with eight home runs and 26 RBIs while posting a .394 on-base percentage and .832 OPS.
“He’s a good player; he’s having a great season [url=http://www.detroitlionsteamonline.com/sylvester-williams-jersey]Authentic Sylvester Williams Jersey[/url] ,” Counsell said. “But this is part of a baseball season. We have to be equipped to handle losses. I think we are. It’s been a strength of this team so far and how we’ve gotten to this point.”
With Cain out, the Brewers recalled outfielder Keon Broxton from Colorado Springs.
Broxton is expected to join the team Wednesday. It will mark the first big league appearance of the season for Broxton, who hit 20 home runs with 21 stolen bases in 143 games for Milwaukee last season but became the odd man out after Cain and Christian Yelich were acquired over the offseason.
“He’s been swinging the bat pretty well lately,” Counsell said of Broxton, who was batting .263 with nine home runs and 35 RBIs at Colorado Springs.
Counsell said Travis Shaw will likely sit out again Wednesday, too. He’s been dealing with a sore wrist for much of the last two weeks and left Milwaukee’s game Sunday after aggravating the injury during a third-inning at-bat against St. Louis.
“I think Travis is going to be OK,” Counsell said. “We’re hoping to avoid a DL stint. The tricky part is if we can get past it. If we don’t think we’re going to get past it, we’ll have to talk about the disabled list with him as well.
“He’s much better than he was yesterday and Sunday. So, I think we’re going in the right direction. There’s nothing structural in there. It’s a wrist strain. Hopefully, he’ll be all right.”
Brent Suter (8-4, 4.15 ERA) will start for Milwaukee [url=http://www.detroitlionsteamonline.com/kerryon-johnson-jersey]Authentic Kerryon Johnson Jersey[/url] , looking for his fourth consecutive victory. The left-hander has been superb during his winning streak, posting a 2.84 ERA while holding batters to a .185 average and a .551 OPS.
Suter’s been no slouch at the plate, himself this season. He is 5-for-14 over his last nine starts with a home run, three walks and three RBIs.
“I love hitting,” Suter said. I’ve loved it my whole life. Even when I’m struggling, I still like going up there and trying to whack it. It’s one of my favorite parts besides pitching in the game.”
He’s had more opportunity to step into the box lately because he’s been working significantly deeper into games. Suter worked through the seventh in each of his last two starts.
“It’s something I trained for in the offseason so to see it be able to come to fruition the last couple starts feels good,” Suter said.
Suter has never faced the Royals.
Left-hander Danny Duffy will start for Kansas City. He held the Astros scoreless on two hits over six innings in his last outing but took no-decision as the Royals rallied late for a 1-0 victory.
It was a rare bright spot in what’s been a painful month for the Royals, who are 4-19 since June 1 and have lost 12 of their last 14 games — six by four or more runs.
“We’re all frustrated,” Yost said. “I’ve never seen anything like it. I’ve never been a part of a month like this. An offensive drought like we’ve had all month long is pretty puzzling. There’s no answer for it.”
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