An important weekend series in the American League Central will continue on Saturday as the first-place Detroit Tigers take on the Cleveland Indians in the second test of a four-game set.
Cleveland will be looking to bounce back from Friday's game as the Tigers rolled to a 7-0 decision. With the win, Detroit increased its lead in the division to 2 1/2 games over the Indians.
Rick Porcello was sensational as he picked up the win for Detroit. Porcello threw seven scoreless innings and struck out six batters to get his fifth win of the season.
On the offensive side, the Tigers were led by Victor Martinez, who went 3- for-3 with a pair of RBI. Andy Dirks went 2-for-4 with three runs scored as well for the Tigers, who have won four in a row.
Cleveland lost its third-straight game as starter Justin Masterson was roughed up for six runs in 4/2 innings of work to take the loss.
Carlos Santana was 2-for-4 and Lonnie Chisenhall had a double but was the only player with an extra base hit for the Indians.
Despite a bit of a setback in his last rehab start, Anibal Sanchez will get back into the Detroit rotation on Saturday.
Sanchez took a line drive off his leg while pitching with Single-A Lakeland on Monday and left the game in the second inning. However, Sanchez did not sustain enough of an injury to stop him from making his first start since June 15.
The Tigers could certainly use Sanchez, who was 6-5 with a team-best 2.76 ERA among starters before the injury.
In the June 15 start in which he was pulled, Sanchez allowed just two runs but walked four batters and gave up five hits in 3 2/3 innings. Prior to that, Sanchez had gone at least six innings in 10 of 11 starts while striking out at least eight batters in nine of those outings.
Surprisingly, this will be the first start of the season for Sanchez against the division-rival Indians. His overall track record against Cleveland is just fine as he owns a 1.75 ERA in four career starts against the Indians.
Making a spot start for the Indians in Saturday's battle is Carlos Carrasco.
The 26-year-old right-hander has gotten the bulk of his work over the last month, with four of his five starts this season coming in June. The most recent outing didn't go particularly well for Carrasco, who was lit up for six runs while tying a season-high by giving up 10 hits on June 28 against the White Sox.
Without much of a chance to get into a rhythm, Carrasco has not put up particularly impressive numbers as he is 0-3 with an ERA of 8.17 over his five starts this season. In his four-year career he is 10-18 with an ERA of 5.31. Those numbers haven't been helped by his efforts against the Tigers, a team he is 1-3 with a 9.50 ERA against lifetime.
Detroit has won seven of nine meetings with Cleveland on the campaign.