MLB Team Report - Detroit Tigers - INSIDE PITCH

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Right-hander Rick Porcello might be merely the No. 3 starter for the Detroit Tigers, but he continues to make a sound case for being included in the list of the majors' top pitchers.

Porcello exhibited his talent and dependability Sunday against the Los Angeles Angels, who have one of the American League's most productive lineups. In seven innings, Porcello generated 11 groundouts and collected six strikeouts while conceding just five hits, an unearned run and no walks. He wound up with a no-decision in the Tigers' 2-1 loss.

The right-hander faced the minimum in his first 4 1/3 despite allowing two hits, one each to right fielder Kole Cahoun and first baseman Efren Navarro. Both were retired on double plays. Porcello has induced 22 double plays this season.

"He's really been outstanding," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "He really has been our workhorse. He gets deep into games every time, keeps the ball down and gets double-play balls."

As a result, Porcello has more victories than right-hander Justin Verlander and a better ERA than right-hander Max Scherzter while allowing fewer hits than either of them this season.

With 12 wins this year, Porcello is the third major league pitcher since 1900 to win at least 10 games in each of his first six seasons before his 26th birthday. The other two? Hall of Famers Bert Blyleven and Dennis Eckersley.

The right-hander also ranks fourth in career victories among active pitchers prior to their 26th birthday. Porcello has 73 career wins to trail Felix Hernandez's 86, Clayton Kershaw's 77 and CC Sabathia's 76.


MLB Team Report - Detroit Tigers - NOTES, QUOTES

RECORD: 57-45

STREAK: Lost three

NEXT: Tuesday -- White Sox (LHP Jose Quintana, 5-7, 3.15 ERA) at Tigers (RHP Anibal Sanchez, 7-4, 3.45 ERA)


--OF Andy Dirks (back surgery in March) might resume his rehab assignment at Class A Lakeland this week. Inflamed lower back muscles interrupted Dirks' recovery July 16 after he went 5-for-16 with a double and an RBI in six games for Lakeland.

--DH Miguel Cabrera needs one home run to tie Frank Howard and Hall of Famer Jim Rice on the all-time list, and to join Lou Whitaker in sixth place on the team's career home run list. Cabrera has hit 243 of his 381 career homers for the Tigers, and he is tied with Albert Belle all-time. Cabrera went 0-for-4 and struck out twice Sunday.

--RHP Anibal Sanchez hopes to continue his recent good fortune Tuesday night when he pitches against the Chicago White Sox at Comerica Park. In his past three starts, Sanchez accumulated 14 strikeouts in 19 1/3 innings while permitting 10 earned runs, 25 hits and two walks. Nevertheless, the Venezuelan veteran went 2-1 in those three appearances.

--CF Austin Jackson, who went 1-for-4 Sunday, is batting .351 (34-for-97) this month. Jackson's sixth-inning single enabled him to retain the American League lead in hits this month.

--1B Victor Martinez drove in his first run in a week with a double off the right field wall in the first inning Sunday during the Tigers' 2-1 loss to the Los Angeles Angels. The double also was Martinez's first extra-base hit since July 20. Martinez finished 1-for-3.