American League Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, June 5th (All times eastern)
Cleveland Indians (28-25) at Detroit Tigers (25-29), 7:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Cleveland - Ubaldo Jimenez (5-4, 5.79) Detroit - Drew Smyly (2-1, 3.46)
(Sports Network) - The Detroit Tigers will try to continue their home mastery of the Cleveland Indians this evening when they open a three-game set against them at Comerica Park.
Detroit, which was swept in Cleveland nearly two weeks ago, has won its last seven at home against the Indians. Last season, the Tigers went 8-1 versus the Tribe at Comerica and have won 23 of the last 27 at home in the series.
The Tigers, though, come into tonight's tilt having dropped five of seven following a series loss to the New York Yankees that culminated with a 5-1 setback on Sunday.
Cleveland, meanwhile, has struggled since the sweep of the Tigers gave them a 3 1/2-game lead atop the American League Central standings. The Indians have gone on to lose seven of nine and head into tonight's tilt 2 1/2-games back of the Chicago White Sox in the division.
Still, Detroit sits 3 1/2 games back of the Indians.
Getting the call tonight for the Tigers will be lefty Drew Smyly, who is 2-1 with a 3.46 earned run average. Smyly did not get a decision on Friday in Boston, as he allowed four runs and eight hits in six innings of his team's 6-4 loss.
"That's how baseball goes," said Smyly, who is seeking his first quality start since May 9. "Sometimes, it just takes a little momentum when things are going your way, just a hit, home run, then a flare and another home run. It's tough."
Smyly has never faced the Indians, who will counter with righty Ubaldo Jimenez.
Jimenez had a two-start winning streak stopped on Wednesday in Chicago, as the White Sox tagged him for seven runs and seven hits in just four innings of work to drop him to 5-4 on the year to go along with a 5.79 ERA.
"They were hitting everything," Jimenez said after the game. "I made a lot of good pitches, and they were able to get either a bloop out of it or find the hole every single time. And then when they hit it good, they hit home runs."
Jimenez beat the Tigers two starts ago, despite walking six batters, and is a mere 3-5 lifetime against them with a 5.96 ERA in eight starts. He is also a miserable 0-4 with a 9.78 ERA in four career starts at Comerica.
06/05 10:49:06 ET