After facing veteran starters in three consecutive defeats, the Detroit Tigers will see an inexperienced pitcher in their next game.
The scuffling Cincinnati Reds will have a rookie starter on the mound for the 25th consecutive time in Monday night's makeup game at the Great American Ball Park.
Detroit (59-64) was held to five runs after winning the opener of its four-game set versus Texas, with Colby Lewis and Yovani Gallardo producing scoreless efforts in the first two games, and they fared little better against Cole Hamels in Sunday's 4-2 defeat.
"If you look at the numbers, we're top of the league, offensively, in a lot of categories," second baseman Ian Kinsler said. "Are we supposed to produce six runs every game? Is that how baseball works?"
Despite the loss, Miguel Cabrera stayed hot by going 2 for 4. The Detroit slugger is batting .548 with seven doubles and a home run in his last eight games.
The Tigers - now five games behind the Rangers in the AL wild-card race - face Keyvius Sampson (2-2, 4.43 ERA), who is making his fifth major league start. The right-hander is tasked with helping the Reds avoid their first 10-game losing streak since they dropped 11 in a row in June 1998 and first nine-game home skid since May 27-June 19, 2001.
"We've got to start winning some games," said fellow rookie outfielder Ryan LaMarre, who collected his first major league hit Sunday.
The Reds' 24 consecutive starts by rookie pitchers are the most in the majors since at least 1914, and Cincinnati (51-71) has a 4.92 ERA from its kiddie corps since July 28, nearly one point higher than its 4.09 mark over the first 98 games.
Raisel Iglesias gave up two runs and fanned 13 in seven innings Sunday, matching Noah Syndergaard of the New York Mets for the most strikeouts by a rookie in a start this year, but the Reds produced just five hits in a 4-0 loss to Arizona.
In his latest outing Wednesday, Sampson gave up four runs in 3 1-3 innings - the shortest of his four starts - in a 4-3 loss to Kansas City. He had won his previous two outings while giving up a combined three runs in 11 innings.
The Tigers will try to send him to another interleague defeat while avoiding their first four-game skid since June 16-20. That streak began with two losses to the Reds, including an 8-4 loss in Cincinnati on June 17 before a rainout the next day.
Detroit is also seeking to win a season high-tying three in a row on the road for the first time since June 21-23.
Buck Farmer (0-2, 8.39) can add a personal milestone - his first MLB win - in his return to the rotation. The Tigers have openings with Anibal Sanchez and Daniel Norris on the disabled list.
Farmer made his fifth career start July 31 in Baltimore and did not get a decision in an 8-7 loss, allowing four runs in 4 1-3 innings. He has an 11.14 ERA as a starter and has taken all three of his major league losses in that role.
Cabrera went 4 for 11 with a home run and six RBIs in the three games against the Reds earlier this season. Cincinnati's Todd Frazier had four homers and seven RBIs in the final two contests, and Jay Bruce went 7 for 9.