The Detroit Tigers try to avoid a three-game sweep at the hands of the lowly Cleveland Indians on Wednesday at Comerica Park.
Detroit swept the Chicago White Sox this past weekend to move into a first- place tie in the American League Central. However, the Tigers have lost the first two games of their set with the Indians and now enter Wednesday's finale a game back of the White Sox in the division.
On Tuesday, Justin Masterson pitched six strong innings to help Cleveland eke out a 3-2 win. Asdrubal Cabrera, Michael Brantley and Jack Hannahan all drove in a run for the Indians, who have won three of four after dropping 15 of 16.
Masterson (11-12) gave up two runs on four hits with a walk and four strikeouts for the Indians, who have taken the first two of this set and are poised for their first three-game sweep since June 18-20 against Cincinnati.
"Another well-pitched game and that's the key against a good team like the Tigers," said Cleveland manager Manny Acta about Masterson. "I thought he threw the ball extremely well and did a fantastic job."
Miguel Cabrera's two-run home run accounted for the offense for the Tigers, while Rick Porcello (9-11) lost his fifth straight start as he gave up three runs on eight hits with a pair of walks and two strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings.
"We obviously have come up short the past two days and this time of year we have to play better than that," said Porcello. "We need to win games and series against division opponents if we want to be in the playoffs."
Getting the call for the Tigers on Wednesday will be righty Doug Fister, who is 7-8 with a 3.67 ERA. Fister did not get a decision on Friday against the White Sox, as he allowed three runs (2 earned) and four hits in five innings, but walked four batters in his team's 7-4 win.
Fister gave up a run in a complete game win over the Tribe back on Aug.4 and is 4-3 in 11 starts against them with a 2.33 ERA.
Cleveland, meanwhile, will counter with righty Ubaldo Jimenez, who has lost his last three decisions. Jimenez lost to Texas on Friday, as he surrendered four runs and eight hits in 5 2/3 innings to fall to 9-14 to go along with a 5.61 ERA.
Jimenez lost to Fister and the Tigers in that Aug 4. encounter and is a mere 4-6 lifetime against them with a 5.26 ERA in 11 starts.
Cleveland is 9-5 against the Tigers this season.