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CHC@SF: Garza fans six Giants over six solid innings

With Monday's off-day and Doug Fister's pending return from a rib-cage muscle strain, Tigers manager Jim Leyland decided over the weekend to shuffle the starting rotation, putting Casey Crosby's start on hold and lining up Max Scherzer, Rick Porcello and Justin Verlander to face the Cubs.

After Scherzer pitched a decent game on Tuesday night in a 4-3 loss, Porcello will take the mound looking to help Detroit even up the series and set up their ace to win the series clincher from Chicago on Thursday.

As the Tigers try to gain some extended success, so does their 23-year-old starter.

Porcello, who is 3-4 with a 5.03 ERA, has been inconsistent. On June 2, he held the Yankees to six hits and one run over six innings. In his start against the Reds on Friday, he gave up four runs on nine hits and was pulled after five innings.

"Everybody's grinding," said Porcello after the game. "But the other teams are fighting, too. It's not just us. Myself and us as a club, we have to find a way to get it done consistently, day in and day out."

The Tigers' offense has come to life lately, scoring 18 runs in their past four games, but they'll need the good Porcello to show up on Wednesday, as runs could be hard to come by against Cubs ace Matt Garza.

Garza, who is 2-4 with a 3.99 ERA, has had his fair share of problems this year, but most of those have come on the road. Inside the confines of Wrigley Field, the 28-year-old right-hander has been dominant, owning a 1-0 record with a 1.91 ERA in four starts.

However, the Cubs haven't won a game that he's started since April 29, despite the fact that he's allowed two runs or less in four of the six outings. His latest start came in Milwaukee, where he gave up two runs on four hits in six innings, but it still wasn't enough.

"It's the same old story for the most part," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said after the game. "We get great starts from our starters, and they're going six or seven [innings] and giving up one or two [runs] and coming away with a loss consistently."

Cubs: Club dismisses hitting coach
The Cubs dismissed hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo on Tuesday afternoon and replaced him on an interim basis with Minor League hitting coordinator James Rowson.

"I feel, every hitter here feels, it's our responsibility that he lost his job, because we didn't do the job," left fielder Alfonso Soriano said. "That's hard when you see guys like Rudy, who liked to work. He liked to work, and we felt comfortable with him ... It's very sad to see him go."

Rowson will be with the team at least through the end of the season.

• The Cubs haven't announced any signings of their picks in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft, but Missouri State right-hander Pierce Johnson, who was taken at No. 43 overall, announced he's signed with the club on Twitter.

"Just signed with the Chicago Cubs!," he tweeted. "Thanks to God, family, teammates, coaches and friends. If it wasn't for you guys I wouldn't be here!"

Tigers: Dotel lands on the disabled list
• The Tigers placed seventh-inning specialist Octavio Dotel on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday with right shoulder inflammation. Luke Putkonen was recalled from Triple-A Toledo to replace the injured reliever. The move is retroactive to June 3, so Dotel could return on Monday.

"If [Dotel's] not ready to pitch Tuesday, that means he's probably not ready to pitch Wednesday," Leyland said. "It's only going to be about a five-day thing, so why not do it? We can't keep going short all the time, particularly in the National League."

• Drew Smyly, who is dealing with a blister on his left hand, didn't throw on Tuesday, but will tape it up to see how it feels. He is hopeful that he can make his next start, which could be Saturday or Sunday depending on if and when Fister is available.

"You've just got to let it heal," Smyly said. "There's not much you can do. They have an ointment I'm putting on it to kind of speed it up, but really all you can do is sit around and wait."

Worth noting
• The Tigers lost to the Cubs for the first time since 2001 on Tuesday night.

• Garza is 1-5 with a 4.60 ERA in eight career starts against the Tigers. Porcello's made one start against the Cubs in his career, a no-decision in 2009 after allowing two runs and seven hits through five innings.

• The Cubs are 3-8 in June, since ending May with a three-game sweep of the Padres. Comments