Detroit Tigers (46-38) at Cleveland Indians (45-40), 7:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Detroit - Rick Porcello (4-6, 5.21)
Cleveland - Justin Masterson (10-6, 3.48)
(Sports Network) - Cleveland right-hander Justin Masterson tries to strengthen
his case to be included on the American League All-Star team on Friday when
the Indians open a four-game series against the Detroit Tigers at Progressive
Tigers manager Jim Leyland, of course, will skipper the AL team at the Mid-
Summer Classic and could be eyeing Masterson, who is 10-6 this season with a
3.48 ERA. He tossed his third shutout of the season on Sunday in Chicago, as
he scattered six hits and struck out eight.
"The defense, that's what was working great for me -- those guys were working
hard," Masterson said. "They took a real aggressive approach, swinging early.
It's all going to come back to those guys out there doing their thing. They
made a lot of double plays, and they were pretty double plays."
Masterson needed that showing, as he had gone 2-4 with a 5.40 ERA in his
previous seven starts.
The sinkerballer lost to the Tigers earlier this season and is just 2-7
lifetime against them with a 5.09 ERA.
Masterson will also try to help Cleveland gain some ground on the American
League Central-leading Tigers, who lead the Indians by just 1 1/2 games.
Cleveland lost a game in the standings on Thursday, as it dropped its second
straight game to Kansas City after winning five in a row.
While the Indians were losing their series at Kauffman Stadium, the Tigers
made the most of their opportunity in Toronto, where Justin Verlander pitched
them to an 11-1 win.
"He threw exceptionally well. He looked like he was in command the whole
game," Leyland said.
The Tigers have won three in a row after posting just one win in its previous
Getting the call for the Tigers on Friday will be righty Rick Porcello, who is
4-6 with a 5.21 ERA. Porcello lost his third consecutive start on Sunday
against Tampa Bay, as he allowed three runs and eight hits in six innings.
"I've made some adjustments, but I still need to keep making some more to
avoid innings like the (two-run) fourth," Porcello said after his last start.
"Six innings, three runs, kept us in the game. I'll take it."
Porcello, though, picked up a six-game suspension after the game for throwing
at the Rays Ben Zobrist. He has appealed, though.
Detroit has won six of its eight matchups with the Tribe this season.