Boston’s Porcello hopes for improvement vs. Tigers

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Rick Porcello will look to bounce back from the shortest start of his career when he faces his former team, the Detroit Tigers, on Saturday.

The Boston Red Sox right-hander was pounded during the team’s trip to London last weekend, allowing six runs on five hits and a walk while retiring just one batter in a 17-13 loss to the New York Yankees.

He’ll make his last start before the All-Star break at Detroit.

“We play in a bunch of different ballparks over the course of the year,” Porcello said after the debacle overseas. “They’re all different atmospheres. There wasn’t anything out there that got in my way other than myself.

“That was an unacceptable performance, especially where we are (in the standings) and the need for pitching, to go deep into games against a team we have to beat. I take full responsibility for it. I need to be better.”

Porcello (5-7, 5.07 ERA) was also ineffective in his previous start on June 23 against Toronto, surrendering five runs on eight hits in six innings.

He’ll be on a familiar mound on Saturday. He pitched for the Tigers from 2009-14. Porcello has made 91 career starts at Comerica Park, going 37-29 with a 4.53 ERA.

He’s faced the Tigers four times since joining the Red Sox, posting a 2-0 record and a 2.77 ERA.

Boston won the rain-delayed series opener 9-6 on Friday behind Xander Bogaerts‘ four RBIs.

On Saturday, Detroit right-hander Jordan Zimmermann will be seeking his first victory since last September. He delivered his best outing since early April in his latest start, holding Washington to one run on four hits in six innings on Sunday.

Zimmermann (0-5, 5.36 ERA) has made three starts since recovering from an elbow injury. He has a 2-2 record and 5.46 ERA in six career starts against Boston.

The Tigers are playing without regular center fielder JaCoby Jones this weekend. He was placed on the 10-day injured list earlier this week due to back spasms.

Victor Reyes is filling in for him. Reyes has bounced back and forth between the majors and Triple-A Toledo after being on Detroit’s roster all of last season as a Rule 5 selection.

“It’s actually helped me a lot to stay ready because I know, if anything happens up here, I need to be ready to play up here,” Reyes told the Detroit News. “I like to know I’m the first choice for them every time something happens. Of course I’d like to stay here, but knowing that I am their first choice encourages me to be ready at all times.”

Reyes was named the International League Player of the Month for June, as he batted .435 with five home runs and 25 RBIs. He was also called up three times that month and sent back to the Mud Hens a day or two later.

He’s 3-for-10 in two games since the latest recall.

“It hasn’t affected me at all,” Reyes said. “I’ve got my routine down there and it’s the same up here. I am always ready — where I am doesn’t matter.”

–Field Level Media



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