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Washington at Detroit

Venue: Comerica Park
  •  

Stephen Strasburg made a huge impression in his first appearance in a big-league uniform in spring training three years ago by striking out Miguel Cabrera.

Those two will finally meet when it counts Tuesday night.

The Washington Nationals starter has never faced Cabrera or the Detroit Tigers in the regular season heading into the opener of this two-game set at Comerica Park.

Strasburg's spring debut with the Nationals on March 9, 2010 against Detroit drew plenty of attention. He yielded two hits in two scoreless innings, striking out Cabrera with a high-90s fastball and drawing praise from the Tigers slugger and Detroit manager Jim Leyland.

Strasburg (5-8, 2.85 ERA) will pitch to the reigning AL MVP for the first time in interleague play. He is 5-2 with a 2.09 ERA in eight career outings against the AL.

Both Strasburg and Cabrera endured frustrating efforts in their last games.

The Nationals right-hander was charged with last Wednesday's 4-2 loss to Pittsburgh despite yielding one run and two hits in eight innings with a season-high 12 strikeouts. Afterward, he emphatically stated that the defending NL East champions needed to start turning their season around.

Washington (52-54) has responded with a 4-1 stretch, winning 14-1 over the New York Mets on Sunday.

"This is definitely what we envisioned coming out of spring training,'' outfielder Denard Span said. "Being able to score runs like this and put a lot of pressure on the other teams' (pitching)."

Cabrera, meanwhile, was ejected by home plate umpire Chad Fairchild for arguing a strike call in the third inning of Sunday's 12-4 win over Philadelphia. Leyland was also tossed.

"I said the call was horrible and he threw me out,'' Cabrera said. "I think it's not time to blame anybody - to blame the umpires, to blame somebody else. You want to compete and you want to do something special and try to win games. I'm kind of upset at how he threw me out, but that happens."

Detroit (59-45) outscored the Phillies 24-5 in a three-game sweep to improve to 6-2 against the NL East, but both defeats came at Washington on May 8 and 9.

The Tigers have won seven straight and 12 of 14 at home versus the NL East.

The Nationals' five-game surge following a season-high six-game losing streak has coincided with Ryan Zimmerman going 10 for 21. He was 3 for 4 to lead a season-high 18-hit attack Sunday.

"I think we all know what this group is capable of and what kind of people we have in here,'' he said. "That's one of the biggest strengths of this team is not worrying about things that happen, good or bad.''

Washington looks to defeat Anibal Sanchez (8-7, 2.68) for the second time after he allowed three runs over six innings in a 3-1 loss May 8.

The right-hander is 5-2 with a 2.19 ERA in seven home starts.

While Zimmerman is a .222 hitter against Sanchez, Jayson Werth - who missed the first series between these clubs with a strained right hamstring - is worse at 5 for 30 with 19 strikeouts. No player has fanned more versus Sanchez.

The Tigers bolstered their bullpen Monday by acquiring right-hander Jose Veras from Houston for minor league outfielder Danry Vasquez and a player to be named.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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Probable Starters

Stephen Strasburg, RHP
2013 stats
123.1 Innings Pitched 104.0
5-8 Wins-Losses 8-7
2.85 Earned Run Average 2.68
38 Walks 33
127 Strikeouts 119
99 Pitches Per Start 101
Career vs. opponent
- Innings Pitched 124.2
--- Wins-Losses 8-1
- Earned Run Average 2.02

Anibal Sanchez, RHP
Weather
weather image  High level clouds. Mild.
Hi TempLo TempWindHumidityPrecip %
76°F58°F4mph/S53%12%
Standings
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Washington1st NL East8964.582-7-3 W 2
Detroit1st AL Central8568.556-7-3 W 1
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Anibal Sanchez
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Suzuki21000.500
Harper52101.400
Ramos135021.385
Span62000.333
Desmond288125.286
 
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Stephen Strasburg
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Avila000000
Benoit000000
Cabrera000000
Coke000000
Dirks000000
 
Injuries
Washington
PlayerInjury
T. JordanElbow
J. KobernusHand
N. McLouthShoulder
R. OhlendorfBack
M. PurkeElbow
R. ZimmermanHamstring
Detroit
PlayerInjury
A. AvilaHead
A. DirksBack
J. HanrahanElbow
J. IglesiasShin
P. McCoyHamstring
L. PutkonenElbow
B. RondonElbow
A. SanchezPectoral
J. VerlanderThumb
 
Series Game Log
DateatResult/TimeWinnerLoser
Mar 31DETDET 4-3Nathan Davis 
Apr 2DETDET 2-1Alburquerque Collins 
Apr 3DETPPD   
May 2KCDET 8-2Porcello Shields 
May 3KCDET 9-2Smyly Duffy 
May 4KCDET 9-4Verlander Vargas 
Jun 16DETKC 11-8Vargas Verlander 
Jun 17DETKC 11-4Ventura Scherzer 
Jun 18DETKC 2-1Guthrie Smyly 
Jun 19DETDET 2-1Sanchez Duffy 
Jul 10KCDET 16-4Smyly Guthrie 
Jul 11KCDET 2-1Sanchez Duffy 
Jul 12KCDET 5-1Porcello Shields 
Jul 13KCKC 5-2Ventura Verlander 
Sep 8DETDET 9-5Verlander Guthrie 
Sep 9DETDET 4-2Scherzer Vargas 
Sep 10DETKC 3-0Shields Porcello 
Sep 19KCDET 10-1  
Sep 20KC 1:05 PM EDT  
Sep 21KC 2:10 PM EDT