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Scherzer, Tigers eye sweep of Indians

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Indians will close out a three-game series at Progressive Field in fashion, as top slingers Max Scherzer and Josh Tomlin take the mound for their respective sides.

The Tigers are on the verge of completing the sweep, which would be the first for the team since a May 16-18 sweep of the Red Sox.

The 29-year-old Scherzer was absolutely rocked in his last outing against Kansas City, in which he lasted just four innings and gave up a whopping 10 runs on 10 hits, including two homers. He managed to fan five batters, but the 10 runs allowed raised his earned run average up from 3.05 entering the game to 3.84.

The loss snapped his personal two-game win streak, and Scherzer is still 6-2 in his last 10 starts. Prior to the loss to the Royals, Scherzer pitched a shutout against the White Sox. He enters this matchup with Cleveland owning an 8-3 record, a 3.84 ERA and 111 strikeouts on the year.

"I've taken punches on the chin before, and I've come back," Scherzer said following the loss to the Royals. "I'm not worried about that. I just have to get back to where I'm putting guys away."

In eight starts this season, Tomlin has had a bit of a roller coaster ride. He started the season strong with wins in three of his first four appearances. But he's lost his last two outings and has surrendered at least nine hits in both those contests. He'll take the mound sporting a 4-4 record with a 3.86 ERA.

Things started well for Tomlin in his latest start - a Tuesday game against the Angels. But the wheels came off for the 29-year-old righty, and he eventually took the loss following 11 hits and six runs allowed (five earned).

In five games pitched and three starts against Detroit in his career, Tomlin is 2-2 with a 5.40 ERA with 15 strikeouts and 13 runs given up.

The Indians made somewhat of a comeback Saturday night against the Tigers in the second game of the series. After being down 4-2 following an Ian Kinsler home run in the seventh inning, Cleveland tacked on a run in the bottom of the eighth and ninth innings to knot the score at 4-4.

But in the top of the 10th, Miguel Cabrera drilled a double deep to center field, which scored Kinsler for the go-ahead run. Phil Coke took the mound in the bottom of the inning and recorded the save for Detroit in the 5-4 triumph.

Justin Verlander pitched seven innings and struck out eight for Detroit, but didn't register the win. Blaine Hardy was credited with the victory, while Cody Allen was handed the loss for Cleveland.

"He was definitely good, but ironing out mechanics does not happen overnight," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said of Verlander. "I wanted him to leave on a good note and feel good about his start."

Victor Martinez clubbed his 19th home run of the season and drove in two runs, while Cabrera and Kinsler each tallied two hits. Asdrubal Cabrera led the Indians with three hits in the game.

The Tigers have now won three in a row for the first time in over a month.

06/22 08:33:25 ET

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