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Tigers' road woes boggle Leyland

Tigers' road woes boggle Leyland

DETROIT -- Jim Leyland arrived at Comerica Park on Monday ready to turn the page and put the Tigers' lost weekend in Cleveland in the past. But the way the Tigers' road struggles have gone all season, he couldn't help but search for a reason.

"If I knew the answer, I'd have it," Leyland said. "But don't start quizzing me. I don't know."

Leyland wanted numbers behind the struggles, and what he found, he called "mind-boggling." All five of his current starters have dramatic splits between home and road. All-Star Justin Verlander is 6-2 with a 2.70 ERA at Comerica Park, but 5-3 with a 4.99 ERA everywhere else. Jeremy Bonderman owns a 3.63 ERA and .250 average against at home, but 6.11 and .288 on the road. Max Scherzer (3.80 ERA at home, 5.61 on the road), Armando Galarraga (2.57/7.78) and Rick Porcello (4.37/7.55) also have dramatic home-road splits.

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"I've heard it all," Leyland said. "It can't be the ballparks. It has nothing to do with the ballparks. We haven't played in any bandboxes. Chicago is a little small, but we've only played a couple times there. It can't be the teams because we've played the Yankees and Boston at home and we pitched great."

As a team, the Tigers have a 3.53 ERA, better than the big league average of 3.85. Their 5.22 road ERA, however, is well worse than the league average of 4.59.

Offensively, the stats are a mixed bag. Rookie of the Year candidate Brennan Boesch entered Tuesday batting .375 on the road compared with .285 at home. Brandon Inge hits .310 away from Detroit compared with .209 in the Motor City. Magglio Ordonez bats .333 at home, .277 on the road. However, the splits for Miguel Cabrera, Austin Jackson, Carlos Guillen and Ramon Santiago are stronger away from Comerica Park -- in Santiago's case, a .321 average compared with .207.

As a team, though, the Tigers hit .261, six points above the Major League average. They're just not translating the hits into many runs, scoring 53 fewer on the road than at home despite the same number of games entering Monday. That averages out to a full run less per game.

"The one puzzling thing to me has been the entire rotation on the road. It's mind-boggling to me. That's the only issue."

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