O's, Tigers hope bats warm up
The bats for the Baltimore Orioles and Detroit Tigers this month have remained as chilly and miserable as the weather.
The weather forecast doesn't offer any hope of a warmup but both teams will look for their offenses to heat up in a three-game series at Detroit's Comerica Park. The opener is scheduled for Tuesday night.
Baltimore (5-11) dropped five of its last six games while scoring a combined nine runs in those losses. Detroit (4-9) scored one or no runs in six of its first 13 outings.
Orioles first baseman Chris Davis told the Baltimore Sun that the frigid, damp weather hovering around the East Coast and Midwest has made an impact.
"I think a lot of it has to do with the weather," he said. "We've played very few games with the temperature above 55. And that's just kind of the way it goes. That's the old adage, the pitchers have the advantage the first month of the season and it takes the hitters a little bit to get their timing down. When you're battling the elements like this on a day-in, day-out basis, it makes it that much harder. But we can't make any excuses. We have to continue to work."
The Orioles' scheduled game against Boston on Monday was postponed. So were the last two games of the Tigers' three-game series against the New York Yankees over the weekend. Detroit enter Tuesday's contest having last played on Friday.
The Tigers hit two homers in an 8-6 loss to the Yankees that night. Prior to that, they had just three long balls in 12 games.
"I don't like to make excuses, but if you'd told me during spring training that we'd have the minimal number of home runs we have as a team, I would've laughed," Tigers catcher James McCann told the Detroit News. "Anytime it's cold, it's tough to hit. I don't want to say baseball's not meant to be played in the cold, but it's a different game when it's in the cold."
Both sides will have to wait at least one more day for better conditions. The temperature is not expected to reach 40 degrees on Tuesday
A pair of veterans who signed late in the free agent process will oppose each other. Orioles right-hander Andrew Cashner, signed to a two-year, $16 million deal in mid-February, will face left-hander Francisco Liriano, who inked a one-year, $4 million contract later that month.
Cashner (1-1, 2.50 ERA) has looked sharp in his last two starts, holding the Yankees to one run on two hits in six innings, then blanking Toronto for seven innings. Cashner tossed a one-hit shutout for San Diego in his only career start against Detroit in 2014.
Liriano (1-1, 2.13 ERA) pitched well in his first two outings for the Tigers after signing a one-year, $4 million contract as a free agent. The 34-year-old left-hander held Kansas City to one run in 6 2/3 innings and Cleveland to two runs in six innings. But he could be rusty, since he hasn't taken the mound since April 9.
He's 2-5 with a 4.14 ERA in 10 career starts against Baltimore.
The Tigers won last season's series 4-3.
Updated April 16, 2018