Tigers continue NL Central swing

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Detroit Tigers continue their journey through the National League Central on Monday when they open a three-game series with the Milwaukee Brewers at Comerica Park.

Detroit took two of three from the NL Central-leading St. Louis Cardinals over the weekend, but was denied a sweep on Sunday in a 2-1 loss at Busch Stadium.

Alfredo Simon (4-2) took the hard-luck loss after yielding both runs on seven hits over six innings. Miguel Cabrera, who has four home runs and nine RBI in his last four games, continued to swing a hot stick with an RBI single to produce Detroit's lone run.

"You always want to win a series, certainly playing against this Cardinal team that has done well" said Tigers manager Brad Ausmus. "Winning two of three on the road is somewhat satisfying. They're a good team. They're going to win some games."

Getting the call for the Tigers on Monday will be lefty Kyle Lobstein, who has alternated wins and losses in his six starts this season, but is coming off his worst showing of the season.

Lobstein absorbed the loss on Wednesday against Minnesota, which ripped him for six runs and seven hits in 2 1/3 innings. The setback dropped him to 3-3 on the year to go along with a 4.33 ERA.

He had entered the game with the most innings (33) of any Major League starter without a home run allowed before serving one up to Torii Hunter.

"It was in the zone or down the middle," Lobstein said of Hunter's home run. "It's pretty easy to hit 86 (mph) when it's down the middle. Other than that, just inconsistency. I was a little quick with the delivery, so it's hard to have the same release point when the rest of your mechanics are out of sync. Really just letting the game get too fast."

Heading to the hill for Milwaukee will be righty Mike Fiers, who is 1-4 with a 5.00 ERA. Fiers did not get a decision on Tuesday against Chicago, but pitched well enough to get the win, as he allowed just two runs, five hits and struck out seven in 6 1/3 innings.

He has 49 strikeouts in only 36 innings this season.

"I think Mike is, like, this close," manager Craig Counsell said. "I really think Mike is right on the edge of really breaking out here. The stuff, the strikeouts tell you that. The strikeouts tell you what the hitter is feeling. I'm confident in Mike moving forward.

"Strikeouts are just a sign of how tough you are. If you can make Major League hitters swing and miss in the strike zone, it's really hard to do. When you're doing that, there's success in there. That's the easiest way to put it."

Milwaukee, meanwhile, pulls up the rear in its division and dropped two of three to the New York Mets over the weekend, including a 5-1 setback on Sunday.

Wily Peralta (1-5) last just five-plus innings and was touched for five runs on nine hits in Milwaukee's fourth loss in five games. The Brewers were outscored 19-2 in losing the final two games of the series.

This is the first series between these teams since the Tigers swept a three- game set back in 2009.