|1:10 PM PT2:10 PM MT3:10 PM CT4:10 PM ET16:10 ET20:10 GMT4:10 1:10 PM MST3:10 PM EST3:40 PM VEN0:10 UAE (+1)3:10 PM CT, June 1, 2019
SunTrust Park, Atlanta, Georgia Attendance: 37,108
Tigers likely to be without Cabrera against Braves
Detroit Tigers at Atlanta Braves
- Detroit has gone 2-8 in interleague play this season -- those eight interleague losses are most in MLB. Atlanta won two of three in its first 2019 interleague series against Cleveland despite Braves' starters combining for a 10.22 ERA in the series.
- Entering their final game of the month, the Braves have a .720 team OPS in May after posting a team .819 OPS in April. Only the Cardinals (.800.696) have had a larger decrease from April to May.
- Detroit has won two straight games entering this series for the first time since winning both games of a double header on April 23. The Tigers have won or tied six series on the road and only three at home.
- Austin Riley drove in all four runs for his team last time out with his first career grand slam. He is the first player with at least 20 RBI through 14 career games since Jim Greengrass in 1952.
- Brandon Dixon is on a team-high seven-game hitting streak and slashing .381/.409/.810 over that stretch. His five home runs through 27 games this season are the same amount he hit in 74 games last season.
- Freddie Freeman has gone hitless in back-to-back games for the first time since April 29-30. He has not gone three straight games without a hit since August 2017. His 66 hits this season rank fifth in the NL.
- Sale snaps Fenway skid, BoSox 2-hit Jays
- Harper, Hoskins rally Phils past Dodgers
- Yankees, Rays to play twin bill in Bronx
- Athletics hope to stay hot against Twins
- Surging Indians try to beat Tigers again
The Detroit Tigers finally showed some pop while winning three straight games but a new issue has cropped up. They may have to go without their most accomplished hitter for a while.
First baseman Miguel Cabrera left Friday's 8-2 win at Atlanta with a swollen right knee. He's unlikely to play the remainder of the three-game series, including Saturday afternoon's matchup.
"All of a sudden, (hitting coach) Lloyd (McClendon) came over to me and said, 'Miggy needs to get out of the game. His knee's bothering him. He can't push off right now,'" manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He was fine before the game and now we're going to get him checked out."
Leadoff hitter and utility man Niko Goodrum carried Detroit's offense on Friday with his first career five-hit game, including two solo homers.
The fact that his big night only raised his average to .230 shows how much the switch-hitter has struggled this season.
"It just gets down to plate discipline, not trying to do too much," Gardenhire said. "We know he's a swinger. He likes to swing. He's got a nice swing from both sides and he hits the ball hard."
Tigers left-hander Daniel Norris (2-3, 4.18 ERA) will start Saturday's game. Detroit has lost six of his last seven starts, though Norris has given up two earned runs in three of his last four outings.
He lost to Baltimore on Monday during a 5 2/3-inning stint in which he gave four runs (two earned) on six hits.
Norris doesn't often overpower hitters, so he must rely on a mixture of four-seam fastballs, two-seam sinkers, changeups, sliders and curveballs. He could throw harder early in his career before injuries forced him to alter his approach.
"I needed to stop focusing on the velocity and realize that I could get hitters out at this level with what I have," Norris told the Detroit News. "It's forced me to learn how to pitch."
He has two career starts against the Braves, going 1-1 with a 4.82 ERA.
Rookie right-hander Mike Soroka (5-1, 1.07 ERA) will start for the Braves, and he has not given up more than one earned run in eight appearances this season. In his last outing (May 25), he held St. Louis to two runs (one earned) on five hits in six innings while recording five strikeouts.
Soroka's 1.07 ERA is the third lowest through the first eight starts of a season for a player 21 years old or younger dating to 1913. Fernando Valenzuela (0.50 in 1981) and Vida Blue (1.02 in 1971) are the only pitchers that age who had lower ERAs through eight starts.
"Ultimately, you want to limit damage in big innings," Soroka told MLB.com. "You just want to make good pitches when there's guys on and hopefully, balls are put in play to the right guys."
Off the mound, Soroka tries not to tinker too much or think about what he did right or wrong.
"A lot of it is getting away from baseball more than I would previously," he told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "It helps you take the mound with a clear mind every fifth game, whereas you don't want to get to June or August and you're tired of baseball. So I've done a better job of shutting down away from the field, separating a little bit, and staying happy and intense on the mound."
--Field Level Media
Updated June 1, 2019