June 3, 2014 at 11:07 pm

Tigers hope to not knuckle under against R.A. Dickey

Detroit — Sorry, but it’s no help that Danny Worth throws a knuckleball.

Not when it comes time to face the only pitcher in the majors who relies on his knuckler as his primary pitch.

Wednesday the Tigers face R.A. Dickey, who throws a knuckleball 80 percent of the time. and who has beaten Detroit the last three times he’s faced it.

Dickey hasn’t had as much success with the Blue Jays in the last one-plus seasons he’s been with them as he had in 2012 while winning the National League’s Cy Young Award for a 20-6 record with the Mets, but he’s still not easy to face.

“You can’t really prepare for a knuckleball pitcher,” Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. “There’s no predictable movement to it, so there’s not much you can do about it.

“You just try to get the barrel to the ball as fast as you can because by the time you swing, the ball might not be there anymore.”

When asked if he was going to ask Dickey for advice, Worth said he wasn’t, instead saying that concentrating on hitting was more important.

But he did add, “I wonder if he saw me pitch.”

Scoring change

Austin Jackson has been assigned his fourth error this season, the most he’s had for any season since he was a rookie in 2010, because of a scoring change from the May 24 Tigers game against the Rangers.

What originally was ruled a double for Mitch Moreland off Corey Knebel was switched to an error for Jackson, making an earned run off Rick Porcello unearned.

It was one of those either/or plays for Jackson that might have been appealed by Texas even if it had been initially called an error, but the frequency now with which plays are appealed makes official scoring more thankless than it’s ever been.


The Tigers warmly welcomed back to Comerica Park their friend (and former Tigers player) Joe Siddall, who used to help out as a batting practice pitcher and catcher but is now in his first year with the broadcasting crew for the Blue Jays.

A Windsor resident, Siddall was hired this spring when given an audition after responding to a sympathy note following the death of his 14-year-old son Kevin.

Siddall’s audition went well and suddenly he was headed to the broadcasting booth for a major league team.

“For this series, I’m doing television, but mostly I’m radio.,” he said. “It’s great to be back for this series, but the entire year has been such a whirlwind.”

Around the horn

Miguel Cabrera, for hitting .380 with eight home runs and 34 RBIs, and Victor Martinez, for hitting .372 with nine home runs and 21 RBIs, received votes, but Blue Jays slugger Edwin Encarnacion was named the American League player of the month for May.

Encarnacion hit .281 with 16 home runs and 33 RBIs. His home runs appeared to be the big difference in the results.

... “Max Scherzer’s pride” — that was the clue for 7-down in USA Today’s crossword puzzle on Monday.

“They did their homework,” Scherzer tweeted.

The answer should be DIC for eye color.

“That’s the abbreviation for my eyes (which, with one blue eye and one brown) are dichromatic,” he said.

... Rajai Davis, on Robocop throwing out the ceremonial first pitch: “That’s one of my all-time favorite movies, ‘Robocop,’ and I wanted to be like Robocop when I grew up, except I found out that Robocop doesn’t like thieves. I turned out to be a pretty good thief, stealing a lot of good bases.”

Davis acted as Robocop’s catcher and made a good play of catching it ... on the bounce.

Blue Jays at Tigers

First pitch: 7:08 tonight, Comerica Park, Detroit

TV/radio: FSD/97.1

Scouting report

* RHP R.A. Dickey (5-4, 4.30), Blue Jays: Uses knuckleball 80 percent of the time, so it’s difficult to prepare for him. After a slow start, he’s 4-1 his last seven games with 3.25 ERA

* RHP Rick Porcello (8-2, 3.82), Tigers: Returned to form after a bad start against Texas on May 24. Tied with two others behind Toronto’s Mark Buehrle (10) for second in American League wins.


Tigers third baseman Don Kelly tags the Blue Jays' Juan Francisco, who is called out in the third inning Tuesday at Comerica Park in Detroit. / Robin Buckson / Detroit News