Power meets power with Rangers, Tigers

April 20, 1993|By T. R. Sullivan | T. R. Sullivan,Fort Worth Star-Telegram

DETROIT -- The fireworks could fly in Tiger Stadium today and tomorrow -- if the weather holds.

Rain is forecast for the Detroit area while the Texas Rangers are in town for two games against the Tigers. An offensive barrage also could be on display by both teams. The Rangers and the Tigers will start left-handed pitchers in both games against lineups laden with right-handed hitters.

The Rangers will send Kenny Rogers and Craig Lefferts to the mound to face Cecil Fielder, Travis Fryman, Rob Deer and others. The Tigers counter with David Wells and Bill Krueger against Juan Gonzalez, Dean Palmer, Jose Canseco and Co.

The Rangers have 17 home runs in 11 games.

"I like our lineup against anybody," Rangers manager Kevin Kennedy said.

The Tigers have 14 homers in 12 games.

Detroit has scored 20 runs twice this season, routing the Oakland Athletics, 20-4, and the Seattle Mariners, 20-3.

"It was like Michigan beating Northwestern out there," Mariners manager Lou Piniella said after his lopsided defeat.

Overall, Detroit won last year's season series 8-4, including victories by scores of 12-8, 11-5, 10-3 and 9-6.

"I'm just glad I'm not pitching," Texas' Charlie Leibrandt said.

It will all come down to pitching, or the lack thereof.

"This business of pitching is about making good pitches," Rangers pitching coach Claude Osteen said.

"I saw [Minnesota Twins scout] Al Newman in the coffee shop this morning, and I asked him where all those home runs were coming from. He said, 'Bad pitches.' So that doesn't bother me; you have to make good pitches to get people out."

Lefferts, an ex-Oriole, has had trouble making good pitches to right-handed hitters. They're batting .347 against him with three home runs among the 17 hits in 49 at-bats. His overall ERA is 8.16.

Osteen and Lefferts went to the bullpen Sunday for a throwing session to make mechanical adjustments.

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