Tigers, Rangers rained out
DETROIT (AP) — Jim Leyland is as impressed with the Texas Rangers as he was during last year's playoffs.
"They're such a tremendously solid team in all areas — starting pitching, defense, bullpen, offense," the Detroit manager said Friday. "They're a very good team, top to bottom. They have a lot of nice weapons, they have a lot of versatility. They're very good — and we are, too."
Friday night was supposed to be the second game of a four-game set between the Rangers and Tigers at Comerica Park, but it was called after a 25-minute rain delay before a single pitch was thrown. The teams will play a day-night doubleheader Saturday.
Rick Porcello (1-0) of Detroit will face Matt Harrison (2-0) of Texas in the day game. That was supposed to be the matchup Friday. On Saturday night, Detroit ace Justin Verlander (1-1) takes the mound against Neftali Feliz (1-0).
The Rangers beat Detroit 10-3 on Thursday night in the first meeting between the teams since Texas beat the Tigers in six games in last year's AL championship series.
The Tigers (9-4) acquired Prince Fielder in the offseason, hoping to build on that ALCS appearance. Verlander will take the mound Saturday night, five days after throwing 131 pitches in a complete game victory at Kansas City.
Feliz will try to outpitch Verlander. The Texas right-hander saved 72 games over the last two seasons, and he's been sharp so far after moving to the rotation.
Feliz has a 2.25 ERA after two starts this year.
"He's obviously not coming out there full barrel anymore, like you do when you're coming in to close the game out. Starting the game, you've got to pace yourself," Leyland said. "But he's obviously got tremendous stuff."
Texas slugger Mike Napoli has five homers, nine hits, seven runs and 10 RBIs in his last four games. He couldn't do any more damage Friday night because of the rainout.
"It's something you can't control," Napoli said. "We'll go do the split doubleheader tomorrow and start with game one and go from there."
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