Sunday, March 31, 2019

MLB Game Preview: Detroit Tigers vs. Toronto Blue Jays - 3/31/2019 - 1:07 PM EST

MLB Game Preview: Detroit Tigers vs. Toronto Blue Jays - Date: 3/31/2019 Tigers looking for more offense against Jays The visiting Detroit Tigers have scored only two runs in the first three games of their season-opening series against the Toronto Blue Jays.Blue Jays starters have not allowed a run in 19 innings as they have taken two of the first three games, with the finale Sunday.That means 25-year-old Trent Thornton will have plenty to live up to as he makes his major league debut in a start for the Blue Jays on Sunday.The right-hander will oppose veteran left-hander Matt Moore, who will make his first outing for the Tigers.Thornton will start ahead of left-hander Clayton Richard, who will be the fifth starter Toronto uses this season when he pitches Monday's opener of a three-game series against the Baltimore Orioles.Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo feels that the Orioles have more of a right-handed hitting lineup than t he Tigers."He's got the stuff to compete in the big leagues, for sure," Montoyo said of Thornton. "After he went through that stuff 1/8hitting Bryce Harper on the ankle in a spring training game, then receiving threats from Philadelphia Phillies fans 3/8 he was outstanding. He doesn't back down. He's got what it takes to be a good starter in the big leagues." Thornton was acquired by the Blue Jays on Nov. 11 from the Houston Astros in exchange for infielder Aledmys Diaz. He pitched for Triple-A Fresno last season, going 9-8 with a 4.42 ERA in 24 games (22 starts).In spring training, Thornton was 0-1 with a 4.80 ERA in seven games (one start). He allowed 13 hits and struck out 16 in 15 innings.Moore was 3-8 with a 6.79 ERA in 39 games (12 starts) last season with the Texas Rangers. He is in his ninth major league season, but first with the Tigers.He started seven games in the Grapefruit League, posting a 4-2 record with a 5.48 ERA with 18 stri keouts in 23 innings.Moore has faced the Blue Jays 12 times in his career, (11 starts) and is 5-3 with a 3.81 ERA with 53 strikeouts in 56 2/3 innings. He made two appearances, including one start, against Toronto last season and was 0-1 with a 10.38 ERA. In three career outings, including two starts, at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Moore has a 1-1 record with a 3.65 ERA.It has been a series dominated by pitching. Detroit's Jordan Zimmermann allowed only a single in seven innings Thursday when the Tigers won 2-0 in 10 innings. Sports Betting Handicapping. Toronto's Marcus Stroman did not factor in the decision after pitching seven scoreless innings.Matt Shoemaker pitched seven innings as Toronto won the second game 6-0 on Friday.Aaron Sanchez pitched five-plus innings for Toronto in the 3-0 win on Saturday.Sanchez left the game after hitting Miguel Cabrera, who had two hits, with a pitch on the hand to lead off the sixth. X-rays were negative and Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said a decision will be made Sunday on Cabrera's status for the series finale.After striking out 13 times Saturday, the Tigers have struck out 37 times in three games."They've pitched well against us," Gardenhire said. "We are struggling offensively right now, but that's probably because of their pitching. We've been in every ballgame.We're battling through it and we had some chances (Saturday). We just can't come up with the big hit right now. Just keep working at it. You go from spring training where you're swinging the bat good, and all of a sudden you go through this. But you can't let these guys get down in there. You've got to keep playing." --Field Level Media

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